Even today, children in India are born with a question mark over their lives. That’s because the Infant Mortality Rate in India is a high 70. Look a bit deeper and we find that neo-natal mortality accounts for about 40-50 and Acute Respiratory Infection for about 10. Of the roughly 26 million children born in India each year, 1.2 million die during the first four weeks. That's 30% of the 3.9 million global neonatal deaths. The current neonatal mortality rate (NMR) of 44 per 1,000 live births accounts for nearly two-thirds of all infant deaths (death before the age of one) and nearly half of under-five child deaths in India. Thus, reduction of the neo-natal mortality rate becomes a top priority.
L-RAMP presently partners two innovators in advancing the progress of their solutions for neonatal care.
A neonatal care device innovated by Perfint, a Mysore-based company. Neotherm seeks to overcome the negative features of the high-end closed and open neo-natal care devices available in the market. The base module will be a closed warmer and the other version will be an open warmer and an incubator designed to suit the needs of hospitals and primary heath care centres. L-RAMP has thus far supported the product with assistance in prototype development, clinical trials and studying the Voice of the Customer.
The innovator is Dr. Sathya Jeganathan, Asst. Prof. of Paediatrics, Chengalpattu Medical College, Chengalpattu working in the Neonatal unit. She has worked on this innovation to address a number of practical problems in the existing warmers. The innovation is a cost-effective infant warmer designed in such a way that it can be manufactured and maintained with resources available near a hospital situated even in the interior parts. This makes the innovation especially relevant for rural hospitals and primary health centres. It can be made by village carpenters and local electricians. The innovation effectively substitutes common and local material for heating. L-RAMP has approved incubation support up to Rs. 9 lakhs for product development, developing a business model and implementation activities.
WOMEN AND HYGIENE
Women in rural areas need affordable products that help them raise their levels of personal hygiene. In this context, low-cost sanitary napkins are one of the most essential needs. Sanitary napkins are normally manufactured in large quantities with machines that require high investments. An innovative machine developed by Mr. A. Muruganantham, a Coimbatore-based innovator and entrepreneur, manufactures sanitary napkins in small quantities using rayon wood pulp as the adsorbent. The innovation lies in the simplified production method. Napkins made with this machine are on par with many comparable brands available in the market. By fabricating this simple machine, the innovator has been able to bring down both the initial investment and production costs. The investment cost for a single machine is minimal (Rs. 50,000/- approximately). If production and distribution can be decentralised, these low cost sanitary napkins have the potential to create a wider impact in personal hygiene, improve health, quality of life and also contribute to the creation of livelihoods in rural and semi-urban areas. L-RAMP supports this innovation with assistance for field-trials for establishing a viable business model with rural self-help-groups (SHGs) as the primary manufacturers and distributors.