Leveraging Technology to Level Global Inequalities in Neonatal Health
This article was originally posted by our partner, MovingWorlds.
The first 28 days of life – the neonatal period – are the most vulnerable, but a baby’s chance for survival is not evenly distributed globally. Sustainable Development Goal 3 is to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all ages, and that’s something that begins at birth.
Sadly, half of the world’s newborns die at home, and more than 99% of all deaths occur in developing countries. The 2019 UNICEF Child Mortality Report estimates that last year alone, 2.5 million newborns died – mostly from preventable causes, like hypothermia.
BEMPU Health is an inspiring organization on the forefront of trying to change that. The India-based social enterprise has developed innovative, life-saving health products to give every child a chance to live a full and healthy life. Recognizing the tremendous potential of BEMPU’s products to level out global inequalities, Siemens Stiftung (foundation) teamed up with MovingWorlds to help BEMPU access capacity-building support of experteers as part of the empowering people. Expert program.
Technological Innovation to Fight Neonatal Hypothermia
65% of all neonatal deaths are associated with hypothermia, which is often referred to as the “silent killer” because warning signs are easy to miss. BEMPU’s two signature products, the TempWatch and KangaSling, empower parents to better manage their newborn’s health with regular temperature monitoring and early intervention.
To help develop the content to support its efforts, BEMPU hosted epExpert Julie-Ann Sherlock. In addition to having the skills to help BEMPU achieve its marketing goals, Julie-Ann also felt a personal connection to BEMPU’s work. She shared, “As a freelance content writer working as a digital nomad in Asia, I felt this was a great chance to use my skills to give back to the world in a meaningful way. I have been blessed with two healthy sons, now adults, and realise how lucky I am to not have had to worry about their development. It was a privilege to get to contribute to this inspiring social enterprise helping other babies get that same chance.”
Before Julie-Ann and the team could design the content, they first had to identify and understand the needs of their target audience. BEMPU’s interventions have the highest impact in underserved communities where hospitals are under-resourced and parents lack awareness and education about newborn care, particularly in terms of the risks associated with low birth weight.
According to BEMPU’s founder, Ratul Narain, “In India, one in three newborns suffers from low birth weight or is under 2.5 kg…[After being discharged from neonatal intensive care unit] up to 15% of low-weight newborns die at home due to complications like infections and hypothermia.”
To make a difference at this critical juncture, BEMPU and Julie-Ann focused on creating content that generated awareness of the issue, educated both medical staff and new parents about early warning signs, and demonstrated the effectiveness of BEMPU’s technologies to save lives through early intervention.
With these strategic goals in mind, the BEMPU team collaborated with Julie-Ann to develop a variety of content campaigns and resources, including:
- A monthly newsletter for all supporters about BEMPU’s latest research and products
- A monthly Newborn Circular newsletter aimed at updating doctors and nurses on the latest research and best practices regarding neonatal care
- A educational video for medical providers summarizing the results of BEMPU’s clinical studies on the effectiveness of its interventions
- A “What You Should Know When You Take Your Baby Home” eBook for parents of NICU babies
- A collection of impact stories highlighting real families empowered to detect problems in their babies and intervene early to save their babies lives