A child in the developing world dies every three seconds because of a lack of basic access to health care and medicines. Public health systems in many developing countries are critically underfunded, understocked, and understaffed. However, one organization is taking an idea from the Avon Lady to help solve this problem.
South Africa has one of the lowest breastfeeding rates in the world. Although breastfeeding is the single best way to nourish a child and provide immunity, many South African children continue to die of malnutrition. Now, several initiatives are using new techniques to promote and encourage breastfeeding in the country.
Access to medicines and health supplies is particularly challenging in the developing world. In rural areas, clinics and pharmacies often have to deal with expired medicines, unreliable electricity, and lack of basic supplies and equipment. Now one student from Chicago has developed a dependable inventory system to address the supply problem.
The WHO estimates that up to 1 million people die annually from malaria. While existing diagnostic tests are accurate, they are not as skilled in identifying carriers who don’t show symptoms, but are still able to transmit the disease to other people. That’s why three Dutch developers have created Amplino, a device that aims to eradicate malaria by identifying hard-to-detect cases.
Honey has been used for its antibacterial properties for thousands of years, but its use in medicine declined considerably with the advent of modern antibiotic drugs. These drugs are more expensive and more difficult to access in the developing world. However, the healing powers of honey are making a comeback with a new product called Surgihoney.
Each year, millions of people in the developing world are killed by vaccine-preventable diseases. Vaccines are administered through injection, meaning a trained professional is required. Vaccines also require a sterile environment and constant refrigeration to remain viable. These requirements are difficult and costly to meet in developing countries. However, researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology are developing a microneedle patch that can quickly and easily administer vaccines that save lives.
Can there be a world without malaria? It will require an expansion of current strategies and innovative solutions, such as the Rapid Assessment of Malaria device, which uses refrigerator strength magnets and a laser point to diagnose malaria, and Malaria Consortium’s use of mobile technology and village health groups to support community health care.
Treating malaria, HIV, and other diseases in remote and economically depressed areas is a monumental challenge, but accessible testing methods must be in place before treatment can even begin. With half a million deaths per year from malaria alone, there is a desperate need to find an affordable, intuitive, and portable diagnosis solution. To address this, QuantuMDx is developing …
Lack of contraception and family planning services is a serious challenge for women in developing countries around the world. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 200 million women in the Global South would like to access contraception, but are currently unable. In 2012 alone, this led to almost 80 million unplanned pregnancies, with about 25% of women resorting to unsafe abortions.
Mental health continues to be an overlooked and underfunded issue, despite suicide being the second leading cause of death for 15-29 year-olds globally. Over the last three years the team at Innovation Labs in the UK has worked to develop digital tools to improve young people’s mental health and well-being. The result? Seven well researched, expertly tailored apps and websites that offer a broad range of information and support for youth and those who care about them.