Marie Claire was recently invited to Bengaluru India to attend the Marriot Hotels and Ted Fellows ‘Women in Innovation’ Salon. Here we met with three inspiring speakers and engaged in inspiring conversations at the Bengaluru Marriot Hotel Whitefield located in India’s technology and innovation hub. At the event, three TED Fellows shared their personal and professional stories around the theme of ‘ Women in Innovation.’
“We are excited to bring the next event in the TED Fellows Salon series to Bengaluru as part of our partnership with Marriott Hotels,” said Shoham Arad, director of TED Fellows. “Our TED Fellows program was established in 2009 to bring together innovators and thought leaders to address some of the world’s most pressing issues through the sharing of ideas and strategies. The speakers at this Marriott salon in Asia Pacific represented some of the best and brightest thinkers of their generation who are working towards making positive, meaningful and lasting change in their communities.”
From India, she is a passionate activist for improving global maternal health. She is the founder of Ayzh an online website which focuses on women’s health in developing countries, She is the creator of the simple but revolutionary ‘clean birth kit’ which provides safer childbirths for impoverished women in the developing world.
Q & A
Tell is more about your Website Ayzh ( pronounced Eyes), Why was it set up and what is the message behind it?
Ayzy was a company set up to look at women’s health issues. It explores the subject that women are rarely consulted about their own health and the first product that we launched through Ayzy is the’ Clean birth kit.’ It was a tool used for infection reduction during the time of child birth for both the mother and the baby. It is used in institutions and home birth happening in remote areas around the world. We have also expanded to new born care, post partum hygiene and menstrual hygiene.
The Clean Birth Kit comes with a red clutch which the mother can take home as a souvenir.
What are the statistics of women who use & need the ‘Clean Birth Kits’ ?
In India we have about 60 million births per year. The birth kit helps to make sure you have the correct tools at the right time, place and right price point. Each kits cost USD 3. Over the last 7 years we have sold a little over half a million kits in India and African countries.
If the clean birth kit was not provided, in what circumstances are women currently delivering their babies in developing countries?
When I first started I saw everything from rubber bands to threads being used to tie the umbilical cod in hospitals in India and Africa. The way the rubber bands were presented to me was like this was the best innovation, I totally understand the context that you are in but using a rubber band is only going to cause infection. I don’t think that people are giving birth the wrong way, I think they are just doing with what they have access to at the time of birth. A lot of people talk about mothers dying, but no one ever talks about the cause; which is likely an infection caused by an unhygienic birth.
How can we help and get involved?
We have a campaign “Go with confidence,’ where you can buy sanitary pads for yourself for a year, and it’s a platform that ships globally for free. For every 1 year supply that you buy for yourself we donate 1 year’s supply to a girl in India. As for the Clean Birth Kits, we have a partner project called ” Birthing Project USA‘, they raise funds to buy birth kits from us to deploy in Africa. What you can do is donate to Birthing Project USA.