A Life-Chang­ing Birth Kit

Women's Weekly (Malaysia) - - INSPIRE - Zubaida Bai, Founder and CEO of ayzh, Inc.

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.

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