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Barakat Bundle: A bundle of life-saving solutions to support mothers and newborns in South Asia

Barakat Bundle is a bundle of life-saving solutions to support mothers in South Asia during the first year of their child's life.

Photo of Barakat Bundle Team

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In no more than 3 sentences, please tell us who your idea is designed for and how it reimagines the new life experience.

Barakat Bundle is a life-saving bundle to support mothers and newborns in vulnerable communities in South Asia. We provide packages specifically tailored to their community’s wants and needs that include proven medical items, appropriate health education, and a desirable bamboo cradle for the baby. Barakat means blessing – babies are a blessing to their families, and by providing each child with an equal, healthy start to life - Barakat Bundle is a blessing for their families.

Every year almost 5 million infants die (33% in South Asia) and almost 300 thousand women die (25% in South Asia) from causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. Through the use of relatively inexpensive and feasible public health interventions (such as thermal care, clean delivery kits, etc.) around the time of birth, more than 80% of these deaths are preventable. However, issues of affordability, access, and education prevent mothers and infants from getting the basic care they deserve.

Barakat Bundle is a curated bundle of life-saving solutions for mothers and newborns in vulnerable communities in South Asia that reduces preventable causes of infant and maternal mortality and morbidity. We package together low-cost evidence-based medical items such as clean delivery kits for safe births with health education in a safety certified bamboo cradle. Our end users are low-income, new mothers in South Asia and our target market are the health NGOs that serve them. The medical items in the bundle specifically target causes of maternal and infant mortality and morbidities in South Asia. The bamboo cradle incentivizes demand for the bundle and encourages utilization. The bamboo cradle is locally sourced, designed with community input, and certified to promote safe sleeping and reduce the likelihood of suffocation. Receipt of Barakat Bundle is conditional on mothers delivering at the local health center to encourage skilled attendance during childbirth. For mothers, Barakat Bundle is affordable (provided for free), accessible (delivered directly to local health clinics), and educational (includes comprehensive health education). For health NGOs, Barakat Bundle is integrated into the existing health system (distribution model uses community health workers and government transportation programs) and cost-effective (compared to existing siloed programs). 

At what stage is your idea?

  • Prototyping: I have done some small tests or experiments with prospective users to continue developing my idea.

What early, lightweight experiment might you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

We have used human-centered design to design the bundle by conducting focus groups and interviews with over 100 mothers, fathers, and healthcare workers in rural India. We shared our cradle prototypes, proposed medical items, and health education material to get their feedback based on what they need and want to help them during their child's first year of life. This feedback was used to improve and iterate on the bundle to co-create a curated, need and wants-based bundle.

What skills, input or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

The OpenIDEO community would be a valuable resource to help us strengthen our idea and mitigate future risks. We have tested our idea in West and South India but would be interested to know about perceptions of its viability in other areas of India and South Asia. Additionally, as we scale across South Asia, we are looking for guidance to efficiently adapt our idea to best meet other community needs and wants with a shorter product development lead time.

Tell us about your work experience:

Our all-female team has over 50 years of medical, public health, and business expertise. We have conducted two years of human-centered design including focus groups, in-depth interviews, and small-scale distribution pilots to develop Barakat Bundle. We are committed to equity, justice, and health.

This idea emerged from...

  • An organization or company

Are you an expecting, new, or experienced mom?

  • yes

Are you a healthcare practitioner?

  • yes

Are you a current employee of UCB Pharmaceuticals or Sutter Health?

  • no


Join the conversation:

Photo of Anlan

I like the idea and its potential to rescue mothers and children that face challenges in the early days of new life experience. However, I would like to know how you are going to package the Barakat Bundle in a way that assures you that it will be sustainable and easy to carry out in the long term.

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