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Neo-Kit Intiative: Providing simple lifesaving solutions for maternal and child health

Neo Kit Initiative aims to connect IDP women to the ultra affordable sterilised supplies they require at childbirth.

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What specific problem(s) are you trying to address?

Everyday in Nigeria, hundreds of mothers and babies die at childbirth. A big part of the problem is the lack of access to sterile supplies in refugee/ internally displaced persons camps where over a million women live and as well as the broken healthcare chain affecting those areas. You find traditional birth attendants severing umbilical cords with rusty blades infecting babies with tenants, midwives using their mouth to suck out mucus from the nostrils a baby etc. Infection is a leading cause of death among these women and their infants. The clean-delivery kit is a simple approach to reducing this risk.

What are some of your unanswered questions about the problem(s) you are working to address?

How do we better carry out formative research and also engage with the local community especially those in the core north-eastern Nigeria to ensure the cultural acceptability of the kits?

Explain Your Idea

Our solution consists of two essential components: 1. Neo Kit to provide a sterilized ultra affordable delivery kit containing essential supplies a woman requires at childbirth to ensure she has a clean, safe and hygienic delivery. The components for Neo-Kit include: a. Sanitary pad b. Cord clamp c. Gamma radiated surgical scalpel blade d. Bar of soap e. Sterile gloves f. Mucus extractor g. sterilised absorbent delivery mat h. USSD enabled feature Mobile Phone i. Instruction paper for usage The above listed components will be an integrated solution that will translate to safe and hygienic birthing process. 2. Neo Kit SMS messaging Program (NKM): is designed with the mother and child's health needs in mind leveraging on the mobile phone included in the Neo Kit Pack. NKM will provide critical and informative health care information on maternal and child health care in the form of text messages, voice messages and a mobile application in English and Hausa at no charge for pregnant women and mothers of newborn babies (up to 5 years of age), as well as to supporters (husband, friends and family) and information seekers. NKM supports the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the Campaign on Accelerated Reduction of Child and Maternal Mortality. NKM aims at improving maternal and child health through increased access to information by women, baby care givers and informaton seekers via mobile messages and a mobile application

Name the three most important ways that your idea will address your identified problem(s).

1. The initiative will complement its efforts with education, and partner with local organizations to provide capacity building training to the women in IDP camps. 2. Neo Kit will ensure that all women giving birth have access to clean delivery kits and will help educate birth attendants in the camps and mothers about the importance of using sterile tools in childbirth. 3.A key goal of our work is to make sure the kits were available to the women they were designed to help. Therefore, we will build the capacity of local organizations and small businesses to produce and distribute or sell kits across all locations.

How is your idea unique?

One important feature in the Neo Kit innovation is the inclusion of a mobile telephone in the pack to assist mothers without access to one. These phones will be pre-programmed to support Neo Kit educational program that would go along with the distribution of the kits. With our Neo kit, traditional birth attendants will cease to use rusty blades and glass to severe umbilical cords, they will now have access to scalpel blades, midwives in refugee camps will no longer have to use their mouth to suck out mucus to prevent birth asphyxia, they will now use a mucus extractor, a woman giving birth will no longer lay on the bare floor or use a plastic bag sterilised with salt, she will be lying on our sterilised absorbent delivery mat and her baby received with our sterilised infant receiver.

What are some outstanding concerns or questions that you have regarding your idea?

At this point we do not have a major concern the kit content.However, an important next step for us will be to adapt the Safe Pregnancy and Birth application to lower-end phones (basic&feature phones).These lower-end phones are less expensive & more widely available, but their smaller screens will pose a conceptual challenge as we aim to continue providing sufficient context and illustration, supporting individuals to make thoughtful health decisions rather than offering a simplistic checklist.

Who are your end users?

Neo-Kit will target women of reproductive age in all refugee and IDP camps across Nigeria. If fully funded, we expect to impact 5 million women over the next 5 years by bringing to them products for improved health and livelihood. These women will have more time, money, and opportunity for improved themselves, their families, and their communities out of poverty.

Where will your idea be implemented?

  • Nigeria

What is the primary type of emergency setting where your innovation would operate?

  • Armed conflict
  • Prolonged displacement

Tell us more about the emergency setting that you intend to implement in

We intend to operate mainly in the north-eastern Nigeria, and other places around Nigeria where there are IDP camps.Since 2009, the crisis caused by Boko Haram in northeastern Nigeria has affected millions of people with widespread displacements and violations of human rights. Protection of the affected population is of the utmost importance, and emergency and life-saving assistance remains critical in the hardest-hit areas.

What is your organization's name?

RAINBOW GATE FOUNDATION NIGERIA

Tell us more about you.

We are a non-profit organization registered in Nigeria and operate for the past seven years in Nigeria. For more information :http://www.rgfn.org/

Organizational Characteristics

  • Youth-led organization
  • Locally/community-led organization

What is the current scale of your proposed innovation?

  • Community - 1+ communities within 1 country

Experience in Implementation Country(ies)

  • Yes, for more than one year.

Expertise in Sector

  • Yes, for more than a year.

Organization Location

Abeokuta, Nigeria

What is your organizational status?

  • Registered non-profit, charity, NGO, or community-based organization.

What is the maturity of your innovation?

  • Existing Prototype or Pilot: Tested a part of my solution with users and am iterating.

Website

http://www.rgfn.org/

How has your idea changed based on feedback?

In the past few weeks, we have received important information from doctors, nurses, and TBAs about the gaps in education for mothers on post-natal care and inadequate health tools limiting the level of care. We are learning more about the realities of postnatal care by asking mothers if the health workers in their camps actually give them the level of care needed, as they are supposed to), and the most common complaints and health complications among mothers and newborns during postnatal visits. As a next step, we are in talks with some experts in the field who have taken an interest in our program, about being our partners for curriculum development and to also serve as distribution channels for our kits.

Who will implement this idea?

The Rainbow Gate Foundation Team will be responsible for implementing this idea to full scale. We are a non-profit organization registered in Nigeria and operate for the past seven years in Nigeria. For more information :http://www.rgfn.org/. Our main technical partner in this work has been Youth Innovation Hub. In addition, hundreds of partners from around Nigeria work with us to develop, update, distribute, translate, and adapt our health guides – we could not do what we do without them. Together we work to make health for all a reality.

Using a human-centered design approach, you may uncover insights that lead to small or foundational changes to your organization’s existing strategy or processes in order to unlock the potential of your idea. How would your organization go about making such changes?

Big decisions are often made by the board of trustees and the Reps of the people we serve. We use empathy to put end users at the center of the problem-solving equation, & this we believe is the foundation of design thinking. With this focus, design becomes a tool for change for us.As a core team of diverse individuals, each one bringing unique&complementary skills & experiences to the table, this combination of talent, expertise, high tolerance for ambiguity dedication&determination to impact on the communities we serve & ability to take risks&experiment with new ideas are our greatest strengths.The values we share create a diversity that brings the best innovation. Our ability to relate to a wide array of people has empowered us with critical perspectives to impact on human development.

What challenges do your end-users face? (1) What is the biggest challenge that your end-users face on a day-to-day, individual level? (2) What is the biggest systems-level challenge that affects your end-users?

Everyday in Nigeria, hundreds of mothers and babies die at childbirth. A big part of the problem is the lack of access to sterile supplies in internally displaced communities where over 2 million women live as well as the broken healthcare chain affecting those areas. You find traditional birth attendants severing umbilical cords with rusty blades infecting babies with tenants, midwives using their mouth to suck out mucus from the nostrils a baby etc. This is a major barrier and we need to act urgently.

Tell us about your vision for this project: (1) share one sentence about the impact you would like to see from this project in five years and (2) what is the biggest question you need to answer to get there?

IMPACT: By 2022, we aim to bring Neo Kit to scale in Nigeria, and across West Africa, reaching 100,000 women directly through our kit distribution, and 1 million women through our messaging programs. QUESTION: How do we further strengthen our model &extensive behavior-change social campaign in a way that would lead to permanent improvements in the lives of women while achieving our vision 2022?

What is it that most attracted you to Amplify instead of a more traditional funding model?

We viewed the Amplify as an exemplar of a vanguard platform that has the potential to influence the future of our world positively. This kind of platform with foundation built on human centered design approach stimulates creativity&innovation&taps into the inner child. There is no doubt that this is the type of platform we have been looking for,where empathy marries innovation, a place where our background&experience & skills can be put to use&together with others, make real things happen.

Do you intend to implement your Amplify idea in refugee camps / temporary settlements?

  • We aim to implement our Amplify idea in a refugee camp / temporary settlement.

How long have you and your colleagues been working on this idea together?

  • Between 1 and 2 years

How many of your organizations’s paid, full-time staff are currently based in the location where the beneficiaries of your proposed idea live?

  • Under 5 paid, full-time staff

Is your organization registered in the country you intend to implement your idea in?

  • We are registered in all countries where we plan to implement.

My organization's operational budget for 2016 was:

  • Between $50,000 and $100,000 USD

What do you need the most support with for your innovation?

  • Business Development / Partnerships Support

6 comments

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Team

Hi Dr. Mike Iyanro and team!

An important reminder, Refinement Phase closes this Thursday, October 26 at 11:30pm PST.

We can only consider complete submissions, so please make sure that you have reviewed the Feedback and Refinement Phase Checklists and answered all of the questions on the platform. Note that we added one more multiple choice question to the end of the form.

If you're having trouble figuring out how to edit your idea, please refer to this guidance: https://docs.google.com/document/u/1/d/e/2PACX-1vQUuV2N-wO8Oy8MysMAza3CbKUA1ZcMenollZjPh4FA0fGgIDcVXwWtEe6CLh36_Wik5AypEHixreFH/pub

Best of luck!

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Team

Hi Dr. Mike and Team,

We’re excited to share feedback and questions with you from a set of experts that are supporting this Challenge.

We encourage you to think about this feedback as you continue to improve your idea, whether that’s refining it or adding more context. You are welcome to respond in the comments section and/or to incorporate feedback into the text of your idea. Your idea and all associated comments will all be reviewed during the final review process, but all critical information should be in the body of your contribution somewhere.

- You have a clear articulation of the needs in this community and how your idea will address this challenge. Great job!

Some questions to consider:
- Tell us how you will distribute these kits. Will they be distributed to birthing attendants, the pregnant women, or other users? Is there an associated teaching component? Are there different teaching plans depending on who you give the kit to?
- We want to know more about the viability of your kits. Do you have plans regarding cost to these kits and who will be purchasing these kits? Is it the pregnant women or another group? How will the costs associated local production affect the viability of your plan?
- Will you be integrating these kits into the existing health services structure?

In case you missed it, check out this Storytelling Toolkit (ideo.to/OZznV4) for inspiration on crafting strong and compelling stories as well as the recorded Office Hour (ideo.to/Gf1Cs6). Storytelling is an incredibly useful tool to articulate an idea and make it come to life for those reading it. Don’t forget - the last day to make changes to your contribution on the OpenIDEO platform is October 26 at 11:30PM PST.

Have questions? Email us at amplify@ideo.org

We look forward to reading more, and thank you for the important work that you are doing!

Photo of Dr. Mike Iyanro
Team

OpenIDEO Thank you for the questions. Below is our response.
- Tell us how you will distribute these kits. Will they be distributed to birthing attendants, the pregnant women, or other users?


To achieve our mission, Neo-Kit initiative operates on a hybrid business model that connects women no matter where they may be with products designed to meet their needs. We aim to set up supply chains for low-cost manufacturing to keep prices to consumers low and for the internally displaced persons in the northeastern Nigeria, we aim to subsidize the production of the kits in partnership with the OpenIdeo support. we will distribute products through the existing infrastructure of mobile clinics, TBAs and other partners within the various camps on our maps and also set up a tracking mechanism to ensure that the products gets to the target audience. We aim to use these channels as a core distribution mechanism to reach the remotest possible camps across the Northeastern part of Nigeria.

Is there an associated teaching component? Are there different teaching plans depending on who you give the kit to?

For the first time, we are bringing in a feature mobile phone as one of the components of the delivery kits. We feel this is important in other to share effective information with the mothers who would benefit from the initiative. We discovered that there is a need for basic amenities required to ensure clean, safe and comfortable experience in childbirth. Health care providers especially TBAs in these low resource settings face significant challenges in delivering adequate maternal and neonatal health care: our innovation to provide Neo Kit and integrated with mobile messaging education, will address these barriers to proper care while promoting positive behavior change among health care providers and mothers. The Safe Pregnancy and Birth Messaging program, in the hands of women will become a tool for health and empowerment, offering clear, practical information and valuing the knowledge both women already have. As we continue to test and improve the messaging platform, we will work with other mHealth groups to advocate for applying this sort of people-centered approach to developing technology for health.

- We want to know more about the viability of your kits. Do you have plans regarding cost to these kits and who will be purchasing these kits? Is it the pregnant women or another group? How will the costs associated local production affect the viability of your plan?


The kit would come in two different packaging:
1. The one with mobile phone in it would cost approximately $7 for those without a mobile phone, while the other one without a mobile phone in it would cost $2 approximately. We wanted to give users a choice in this scenario.
2. The Neo kit is aimed at low income women, rural clinics, hospitals, primary health care centers and midwives to deliver babies for postnatal health. Our plan is to work with several partners including for profit and non-profit entities to subsidies these kits for our target audience. We are also working to secure partnerships on both the cost and revenue side, including health equipment providers tie-ins with microinsurance programs to reduce out of pocket costs for women who cannot afford the cost of the kits, work with local programmers and mobile banking platform to develop options for flexible billing, payment in installments to correspond with women's irregular income in these settings. We will also be working with micro-insurance agencies and the National Health Insurance Fund to defray out of pocket costs for women.

- Will you be integrating these kits into the existing health services structure?

We aim to integrate the kit into the Nigerian health system as much as possible. The Kits are produced in Nigeria working together with local manufacturers to reduce production cost. To spread quickly, the kits will be sold to selected agents (women) across Nigeria who will act as our distributors and sell to birth homes, hospitals, pharmacies and other health organizations. From the sales of the kits, our agents will be able to make an income, support their family, send their children to school or even start a small business. Main strategies going forward include setting up storage facilities across several parts of Nigeria to increase the reach and accessibility of our product. Also, due to the fact that most of the problems of Africa are identical and our solution is replicable, we will be working with interested organizations and individuals seeking a franchise from us to set up in their own country.

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Team

Hello, Dr.Mike, your idea contribution is great! I would like to know detail in your idea about innovation part of Neo-Kit. Because, just like the same content of kit in other name Known as TBA delivery Kit distributed by several NGO in Ethiopia specially Afar pastoral. The material that inserted in the TBA delivery Kit also the same as Neo-Kit. In addition, the purpose and objective of the Kits also the same. So, how would you think about innovator of this idea?

However, the proposed idea is very appreciable, relevant, appropriate, and solution oriented for your planned target beneficiaries group of peoples in order to reduce Maternal mortality and Morbidity rate. ''I have added you as a member of team''. Thanks!

Photo of Ashley Tillman
Team

Hi Michael, great to have you in the Challenge! Would love to learn a little more about how you plan to distribute these kits? Looking forward to learning more!

Photo of Dr. Mike Iyanro
Team

Hi Ashley. Thank you for the question. The mode of kit distribution would vary with funding and participating partners involved in the initiative. For instance, Almonsour women foundation funded and subsidized 100% the kits distributed during our pilot program. Initially, the plan was to cost-share the kit with patients but local government opted for a free service. There were some suggestions that the kits should be given free only to the most -needy expectant mothers, and sold to others. This however posed some challenges: Firstly, it was not possible to arrive at any clear-cut criteria on how to determine the most needy countrywide. Secondly, even the most needy would still be asked to part with some payments for the kits by some devious health workers.
Given the challenges above the local government decided to provide the kit free. However, for the future, we will be working with the ministry of health to take up the distribution of the kits to the various camps and may even integrate them into the essential drug distribution system. We will also work closely with other well known NGOs to strengthen the distribution of the kits. We also hope to work directly with trained TBAs on camp to effectively utilize the kits for the benefit of our target audience. This way we believe we can reduce some of the logistical problems.