SAN FRANCISCO, California – One of the biggest problems in poverty-stricken areas is the lack of medical attention for those who need it. Neglect of women in childbirth results in often preventable deaths of both mother and child. For families living in extreme poverty, neonatal and postpartum care are unaffordable luxuries. A mother must return to her work as soon as possible, and the hospital bills are at times too much to pay.
In many such cases, after a simple diagnosis, preventive measures can be taken to keep the child free of any diseases it might get from its mother. Although diseases like HIV and malaria can be passed from mother to child, this usually occurs in cases where the baby doesn’t get immediate attention at birth. Fortunately, the organization Global Solutions for Infectious Diseases (GSID) proposed an innovation that would allow a handheld device to detect what diseases and infections a child might be carrying. This rapid diagnosis would result in a speedy treatment and hopefully a quick recovery and disease-free childhood for many children whose families normally can’t afford health care.
This would be a great step forward in helping the extremely poor, as eliminating or treating diseases at a young age keeps children healthy enough to attend school, which in turn yields a future generation that is able to get better jobs, innovate newer solutions to their community’s problems and raise their families out of abject poverty. Additionally, the family can save on copious treatments that would be necessary into adulthood when these diseases aren’t prevented at birth.
The innovative genius of this device need not be expounded upon. Children are the future of the developing world, and healthy and nourished children are better able to learn and help their families come out of extreme poverty.
– Aalekhya Malladi
Sources: Saving Lives at Birth, GSID