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Driving local innovation to improve mother and child care

 

A four-year local innovation project yielding an array of promising medical devices to improve mother, newborn and child health in Kenya

    About

     

    A joint initiative to fund and support the ‘Maker Innovation’ project in Kenya – a ‘change the system from within’ solution to achieving better mother, newborn and child health in low-resource environments. The project, supported by Philips prototyping and manufacturing expertise, aims to offer much greater long-term benefits than one-off initiatives or imported healthcare solutions.

     

    Partners

    How

     

    A four-year local innovation project yielding an array of promising medical devices to improve mother, newborn and child health in Kenya. Combining the imagination and creativity of undergraduate students at the University of Nairobi, the real-world experience of doctors and nurses at Kenyatta National Hospital, and innovation and entrepreneurship coaching provided free-of-charge by Philips.


    In addition to direct funding from Philips Foundation and UNICEF, and the coaching provided by Philips, development of these prototypes was facilitated by the existence of two prototyping labs at Nairobi University – an engineering-oriented MIT Fab Lab that enables students to access an array of CNC (Computer Numerical Control) rapid prototyping equipment, and the Nairobi Maker Space, which brings together students, doctors and nurses to share and critique ideas. Locally based multidisciplinary teams are then assembled to put the most promising ideas into action.

    Results

     

    The project, supported by Philips prototyping and manufacturing expertise, offered much greater long-term benefits than one-off initiatives or imported healthcare solutions.


    The Maker project has already resulted in the development of 19 medical device prototypes. Seven of these have been judged suitable for further development, with two of them already being tested in clinical trials and evaluated by the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS). Notable examples include a suction machine for clearing the airways of newborn babies and a delivery cushion that supports traditional Kenyan birthing positions.

    Learnings and next steps

     

    The lessons learned in the four-year Maker Innovation project will help Philips Foundation and its strategic partners to further explore new ways of using health technology to strengthen and innovate elements of the health delivery system and the wider healthcare ecosystem in underserved communities across the globe.

     

    Despite tremendous progress, there is still a substantial unfulfilled need for high-quality healthcare that is affordable, equitable and efficiently managed. A next step would be to focus on commercializing solutions, by developing appropriate business plans and establishing manufacturing and service facilities to enable their widespread deployment.

    When

    2015 - 2019

    Status

    Concluded

    Where
    Kenya

    Middle-East & Africa, Kenya

    Care to collaborate, or want to learn more about this project?  
    Do not hesitate to contact us.

    In line with Sustainable Development Goal 17 (partnerships for the goals), we believe we can make a real difference in providing access to quality healthcare if we work together.

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