Events Calendar

Technologies to Improve Maternal and Newborn Health in Low-resource Settings
Thursday, September 21, 2017,  3:30 -  5:00
Rebecca Richards-Kortum, Ph.D.
Malcolm Gillis University Professor
Director, Rice 360 Institute for Global Health
Department of Bioengineering
Rice University


Every year 1.1 million newborns die in Africa, mostly from preventable causes. Evidence shows that providing comprehensive hospital care during labor, birth, and the first week of life can reduce newborn deaths by 75%. And although most African mothers now deliver in hospitals, these hospitals lack thelife-saving neonatal and maternal technologies that have been available for more than 50 years in highincome countries.

These technologies are not available for three principal reasons: (1) equipment designed for highresource settings cannot withstand the harsh environments of African hospitals; (2) the business functions required to develop and distribute medical devices in Africa are poorly coordinated; and (3) local entrepreneurs lack sufficient training to maintain or design technologies.

This talk will describe ways to address these gaps through three complementary approaches: (1) Innovation to optimize a package of rugged technologies for quality, comprehensive newborn and maternal care; (2) Access by using evidence to generate large-scale demand for technologies and developing new distributions systems for their affordable delivery; and (3) Sustainability by educating a pipeline of clinicians and biomedical innovators able to lead systems change to improve newborn health.


Location  BME 3.204