Sam Agutu is among two innovators awarded $250,000 (approximately Sh25,000,000) to develop pre-natal care solutions. Two projects, one using cell phones to deliver to expectant mothers in Kenya electronic vouchers for pre-natal care and transportation, the other aimed at promoting maternal and child health in northern Nigeria, will receive $250,000 grants from the Saving Lives at Birth Partnership.
Two Breakthrough Innovations to Address Maternal and Newborn Deaths in Sub-Saharan Africa
Sam Agutu’s Kenyan group, Changamka Micro-health based in Nairobi, is proposing e-vouchers delivered through cell phones to encourage women to seek care during their pregnancy and at birth. In remote areas health care costs and distance to clinics are barriers for women. The e-vouchers can be used to pay for pre-natal care and transportation.
Mobilizing Maternal Health In Rural Kenya With E-Vouchers And Information Technology
We aim to double rates of skilled assistance at birth and dramatically improve maternal and child health outcomes in rural areas of Kenya’s Western Province by using an integrated solution that empowers poor women to overcome financial and informational barriers to life-saving health services. We will administer a system of subsidized pre-paid e-vouchers and transportation subsidies delivered via mobile phone, as well as informational interventions, including SMS messaging, participatory networks, and radio.
The Saving Lives at Birth innovations Challenge
Seventy-seven finalists out of over 600 applications were selected to compete in the final stage of the Saving Lives at Birth program. Applications from across the globe were received – including from non-profits, faith based organizations, universities, and private enterprises – spanning a wide range of solutions. The innovators traveled to Washington July 26-28 to participate in the Saving Lives at Birth DevelopmentXChange July 27-28, 2011.