Innovating to improve women and children’s health: New Report identifies self-sustaining approach to development

12 September 2011

LONDON - For less than $100, poor, pregnant women in India can now give birth in a private hospital focusing on low-income families, with comparable quality to expensive, private ones. This is an alternative to overcrowded, poorly staffed government-funded hospitals. Lifespring is a rapidly growing chain of hospitals in India that provides maternity and delivery care. For one low price, as little as $90, it provides complete delivery services. This is one-third to one-half of the fees charged at other hospitals.

The first pilot hospital opened in 2005. Within a year, Lifespring grew to six hospitals. It now has nine and will open another six by the end of 2011. Each hospital aims to be profitable after 18 months. Lifespring’s staff has delivered more than 10,000 babies. “Like many social businesses, the genesis for LifeSpring began with the simple belief, that ‘there has to be a better way’,” says Anant Kumar who launched Lifespring.

This is one of many new ideas and innovative tools being published in a new report, to improving health and save the lives of women, infants, and children in low income countries.

“Innovation is rapidly transforming the way health care is delivered in low income countries, especially for the 350,000 women who die each year from complications of childbirth and pregnancy and the 3 million children who succumb in the first month of life,” says Tore Godal, M.D., PhD, special adviser to the Prime Minister of Norway, co-chair of the UN Secretary General's Every Woman, Every Child Innovation Working Group (IWG) and publisher of the new report.

“There are a multitude of ideas,” says Scott Ratzan M.D., M.P.A., Vice President of Global Health for Johnson & Johnson, co-chair of the IWG together with Godal and also a co-author in the report. "We need to engage entrepreneurs in all sectors. They are potential game changers which can make a substantial contribution."

Click here to read the full press release.
Click here to read the report: Innovating for Every Woman, Every Child