How Three Dollars is Improving Maternal Mortality in India

By: Lauren Himiak, Women Deliver

Globally, girls and women have less access to health care. In India, for example, 80 percent of healthcare facilities are located in urban areas, while 72 percent of the population lives in rural regions, creating significant challenges for health and well-being of girls and women. Without adequate access to comprehensive health services, preventative care, and treatment, girls and women are more likely to acquire diseases like HIV, suffer from malnutrition, and experience other health complications. Fortunately, there are people like Zubaida Bai working to change this.

Bai, 34, is the founder and Chief Executive of ayzh – a for-profit social venture providing health and livelihood solutions to impoverished women globally. The company works to develop low-cost technologies that addresses the significant gap in women’s medical technologies in communities and clinics. ayzh designs critical and affordable products that women want and need, and distributes them through to even the most remote communities.

Having experienced poor healthcare herself, Bai was inspired after contracting an infection from unsanitary birthing conditions and practices which caused her to suffer for years. Today, she is regarded as a leader in the field of designing and engineering low-cost health products appropriate for the developing world.

In 2010, ayzh launched its first product, JANMA –a clean birth kit that provides women all the components recommended by the World Health Organization for a safe and hygienic birth. Kits are assembled by local women in India and cost $2-$5. All materials are environmentally-friendly and come in a biodegradable jute bag that can be reused by new mothers as a purse. ayzh has now sold 100,000 of its clean birth kit and expanded business into a number of countries in West Africa in 2014.

ayzh operates an innovative B2B business model, selling to health-based businesses (for- and non-profit) that are capable of giving the organization significant access to disadvantaged women. Serving both medical institutions and nonprofits working in women’s health, ayzh has been recognized by the Clinton Global Initiative, MIT, and more. Bai has also been recognized as a leader, selected as the TED India fellow for 2009, the Ashoka Maternal Health fellow for 2010-2011, and 2012 Global Fellow from Echoing Green.

Bai, along with her staff, are passionate about improving the lives of poor women through improved technology and entrepreneurship, and have no plans to slow down. “We exist as a commitment to save lives and change lives, one product at a time, making one happy woman at a time,” said Bai.

To learn more about azyh, click here.

Entry Comments

    • Apr 18
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    Sadly, health care is not as accessible in countries such as India and I think it amazing that a kit that costs as little as two to five dollars is being produced so that woman in those rural areas have the opportunity to a safe and hygienic birth. Coming from a labor and delivery background I know firsthand the importance of a hygienic birth. Sadly, these women contract infections and diseases because they have no other choice. I am so grateful for the fact that I have access to health care and hope that one day – thanks to people such as Zubaida Bai—the whole country can have access to it as well. What she does is exemplar and we need more people like her in this world.

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