Zubaida Bai: A simple birth kit for mothers in the developing world
Zubaida Bai - Women's health advocate
Zubaida Bai innovates health and livelihood solutions for underserved women and girls around the world. Full bio
that you will listen to me,
be prepared for birth;
of access to basic clean tools
die every single year
to basic cleanliness
and listening to their needs,
on how she delivered babies in her house.
conversation with her
calling to do what she was doing,
to deliver the babies?
the mother and the baby," she said.
agricultural tool in my hand in shock.
hugged her and walked away.
of my own infection
for a year past childbirth
to the best medical care,
with my father,
would be so different
just next to him growing up.
I started my process of research.
that there was a product out there
based on availability of funding.
I was in shock again.
to deliver my baby, I thought.
I went back to the women,
of using this product.
the same reaction and more.
deliver on a floor
that smeared blood all over.
it would cause more infection.
to bacterial infection
that men used for shaving,
anywhere close to them.
to redesign this product,
consulted in this process.
was not only in homes
with high-volume births.
were even more daunting.
by collecting feedback,
researching global protocols.
we went back to the women
was that these women,
on their health and well-being.
a well-designed product
working with experts,
an easy process at all,
the existing product was offered for,
to deliver "janma,"
a blood-absorbing sheet
a bar of soap, a pair of gloves
to wipe the baby clean.
in a beautiful purse
as a gift after all her hard work,
as a symbol of prosperity.
Can I keep it?"
"Will you give me a different color
that this was the first purse
and its simplicity,
globally recommended medical protocol
to follow steps one after the other.
but also in institutional settings.
over 600,000 mothers and babies
to watch these numbers grow,
we reach a hundred million.
that require low-cost interventions.
that if we invest in women and girls
health and well-being,
and prosperous communities.
and dignity to women's health issues:
to breaking taboos,
to take control of their own lives.
without engaging men and women alike
by Leonard Cohen:
placed in the world of women's health
are at the center of a sustainable world,
About the Speaker:Zubaida Bai - Women's health advocate
Zubaida Bai innovates health and livelihood solutions for underserved women and girls around the world.
Why you should listen
Building on her expertise as a mechanical engineer, a social worker and her public speaking skills, Zubaida Bai put her unique passion to work. In the process, she built a brand and a product line, and she set in motion a movement that addresses market failures, breaks taboos and gives voice to the oft-ignored matter that is women’s health.
Bai is the founder and CEO of ayzh (pronounced "eyes"), a social enterprise based in India that designs vital healthcare products to improve the health and happiness of women and girls across their reproductive lives. Bai launched her company with janma, a $3 clean birth kit in a purse, but her story goes further back to when she stood by her mother to face head-on the challenge of survival facing her family when she had just entered her teens.
janma was conceived after traveling to one of the poorest communities in India and confronting the reality that more than one million mothers and babies lose their lives in the developing world each year due to uncleanliness at the time of childbirth. Packaged in a pink biodegradable jute bag, a design that mothers can reuse as a purse, the kit provides both cleanliness and dignity. Since beginning sales in 2012, Bai's company has sold more than 250,000 kits to more than 300 health institutions in 20 countries, touching the lives of more than 500,000 women and newborns. Bai is now expanding her product line to include kits for newborn, postpartum and menstrual health, while scaling her proven model across India and into Africa.
Bai was selected as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, a Maternal Health Champion by Ashoka, a TED speaker (Fellow and Resident) and the United Nations SDG Pioneer by the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC). ayzh's strategic partners from around the world who have written about Zubaida's work: TOMS shared her safe birth story; USAID blogged about how she's empowering women through a simple purse; and Grand Challenges Canada recognizes her lead role in scaling life-changing kits for mothers and newborns.
Bai believes that building a sustainable company takes a great team, stamina and a sturdy suitcase. She is fluent in eight languages and travels the world forging new partnerships and advocating for women's health. She has spoken at events for Women in the World, Pfizer Foundation and Women Deliver. She holds a master's degree in mechanical engineering specializing in development of modular products, and an MBA in social and sustainable enterprises.
Zubaida Bai | Speaker | TED.com