We are Emile and Merlijn, two Industrial Design Engineering students in Delft. Together with Design Without Borders, an non-profit design agency that consists of local designers focussed on developing products and systems for low income economies, we are going to develop a product that supports Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) for preterm child births. We are heading to Kampala, the capital city of Uganda for 11 weeks to go through a full design iteration and put a product on the market that will be developed and manufactured locally.
Globally, each year 15 million neonates are born preterm and at high risk of mortality. Sub-Saharan Afirica accounts for most of the preterm child births mortality. This is caused by a lack of products and infrastructure in hospitals that supports childbirths in need of special postnatal care. Kangaroo Mother Care is a low-cost intervention involving early, continuous and prolonged skin-to-skin contact between the parents and the babies. This method can reduce the mortality rates up to 40%. However, the reality is that only a small fraction of newborns that could benefit from KMC care receive it. This is why we are going to do research in hospitals to develop a product that facilitates the practice.
Together with Design Without Borders, we will document the design process and make a documentary about developing products in low income economies where there is a lack of products and services to satisfy their most basic needs.