A Life-Changing Birth Kit
Engineer Zubaida Bai is passionate about improving women’s lives. An advocate and a leader in the field of designing and engineering low-cost health products for the developing countries, she runs a social business that provides health and livelihood solutions to impoverished women.
Through her company ayzh, Inc., Zubaida develops health products – such as the $2 Clean Birth Kit – designed to reduce maternal and infant mortality in underprivileged communities around the world.
What sparked this journey?
My journey began in India in 2008, where I met a midwife who delivered babies in a thatched hut. The woman considered it a profound calling to do what she was doing. When I asked her if she had all the tools she needed, she pulled out an agricultural tool! I was shocked. It brought back memories of my own post-childbirth infection that lasted a year due to unsanitary birthing conditions, despite having access to the best medical care.
How did ayzh, Inc. come about? Having grown up in India, I witnessed many women, including my mother, struggle with financial hardship and poor health. Since young, I often dreamt of solutions to end this silent suffering.
When doctors told me I would no longer be able to have kids due to that post-childbirth infection, it made me all the more determined to make my childhood dream come true – to help improve the lives of women. I moved to the United States to obtain my MBA from Colorado State University. I wanted the business acumen needed to bring affordable health technologies to women in developing countries.
With the support of my husband and classmates, I founded ayzh, Inc. in 2010 and launched the $2 Clean Birth Kit called Janma, meaning “birth”. Tell us more about Clean Birth Kit. Designed to follow medical protocols, the $2 Clean Birth Kit contains all the essential tools required to ensure safe and sterile conditions at the time of childbirth. it includes a blood-absorbing sheet for the woman to give birth on, a surgical scalpel, a cord clamp, a bar of soap, a pair of gloves and the first cloth to wipe the baby clean. Women in India are hired to assemble the kit, which comes in a biodegradable jute bag that new mothers can reuse as a purse. What is next for you?
We aim to expand this “kit style” to address needs related to newborn care, prevention of postpartum haemorrhage and menstrual hygiene solutions. My dream is to empower women to take control of their own lives. There are thousands of simple issues that require low-cost interventions. We have facts to prove that if we invest in women and provide them with better healthcare, they will create healthier and more prosperous communities.