AMREF, We Care Solar and the WRA win ‘Saving Lives at Birth Grand Challenge’
Members of We Care Solar display the Solar Suitcase after our win.
AMREF in partnership with We Care Solar and the White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood (WRA), recently received the news that our Grand Challenge proposal Saving mothers and babies with reliable solar power was one of three winners of a transition-to-scale grant. We also won the Peer Choice Award, voted by the innovators themselves.
The Saving Lives at Birth Grand Challenge set out to find innovations that could have a dramatic impact on reducing maternal mortality. The challenge asked for innovations addressing three things: (1) technology; (2) service delivery; and (3) ‘demand side’ innovation.”
Our proposal sought to bring reliable electricity and improved health services to 200 health centers in Southwest Uganda. We Care Solar’s 'Solar Suitcase' is a solar package designed specifically for health centers in rural settings. It is durable, expandable, easily installed anywhere, and as opposed to generators or other solar packages, has very low costs to maintain. The suitcase will serve as a hub to power light for medical care at night, a fetal Doppler to detect fetal well-being, phone charging to enhance patient referrals, and a computer for data management and continuing health education.
In addition to funding, the Saving Lives at Birth grant winners will receive “support and networking assistance from each of the [funding] partners, engage with other innovators, and participate in high-level meetings,” according to the Grand Challenges in Global Health website.
The international Saving Lives at Birth Grand Challenge drew more than 500 entries from nearly 60 countries and is a collaboration among five organizations: the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Grand Challenges Canada, the Government of Norway, and the Department for International Development (DFID) in the United Kingdom. The World Bank is an affiliate partner. Winners were announced in Seattle at the 2012 Development XChange event.