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Announcing the $15M Catalytic Fund. Together we can reach 5M mothers and babies by 2025!

Equalize Health Launches $15M Fund for Maternal and Newborn Health

24 January 2022

Ending the leading causes of preventable maternal and newborn deaths

Why Now?

Recent years have shown us that without health, everything suffers. Poor health has caused children to miss years of education. Domestic violence has risen. Unemployment and poverty have risen. Women have left the workforce in droves. Years of progress made to the Sustainable Development Goals have been threatened. And all too often, it is the people living in the toughest of circumstances that pay the highest price. This is especially true for women and children across the world who continue to carry the brunt of the burden caused by the pandemic.

The urgency with which we need to act to protect the health of mothers and newborns cannot continue to be ignored. We can end the leading causes of preventable maternal and newborn death, and so we must. And we must act fast.

It took us more than three years to get to one million patients. As we surpass this significant milestone, we recognize that this pace is far too slow. Each year, nearly 3 million pregnant or birthing women and newborns needlessly die. 99% of these deaths occur in low income communities. The majority of these deaths are preventable.

The $15M Catalytic Fund will provide world-class medical technologies and quality healthcare to five million mothers and babies by 2025. Together, we can help end the leading causes of preventable maternal and newborn deaths.

Support the Catalytic Fund

Catalytic Fund Goal: 5 Million Patients by 2025

  • Reach 5M patients by 2025

  • Launch 5+ maternal and newborn health products

  • Leverage local expertise to support 5,000+ healthcare workers

  • Make technology available in 80+ countries (99% low & middle income)

Local Healthcare Workers at the Center of Innovation

Our approach results in products and services that truly work for mothers and babies in lower income communities. By partnering with local experts, healthcare workers in the communities, and global medtech actors, we provide world-class, context-appropriate medical technology to patients who for too long have been denied access to quality healthcare. Our support services for all those involved at every step of the healthcare sector, from nurses to doctors to innovators to biomedical engineers, ensures communities are able to leverage the latest innovations that work for them and ultimately improve health outcomes.

Did you know that CPAP for newborns has been around for the last 50 years? Yet, this life-saving device is still out of reach for too many.

In 2021, Respiratory distress syndrome continues to be the leading cause of premature newborn mortality, with the overwhelming majority of deaths taking place in low-and middle-income countries. Learn more about how the Catalytic Fund will help save premature newborn lives.

Support the Catalytic Fund

How it Works

We know that many of the great ideas in medical innovation are already out there. Doctors, midwives, nurses and healthcare workers know the most pressing healthcare needs in their communities and what they need to fix them. We’ve met many local innovators who have developed ingenious concepts that, if refined, have the potential to improve patient outcomes across the globe.

The right technology in the right context plays a huge part in improving health outcomes for patients. But, we know impact doesn’t just stop there. Partnerships with governments, healthcare agencies and distributors must come together to ensure even the hardest to reach healthcare facilities have access to world-class medical technology and their healthcare workers have the proper training and support to use it effectively.

The Catalytic Fund will enable us to leverage our key partners in medtech to push the sector to have a more equitable and global reach, by helping to identify and build sustainable business models that include low-income markets, traditionally overlooked by for-profit healthcare.

Expanding on our telementoring work, Equalize Health will work with government partners, local experts, and donors to facilitate locally-driven virtual training and telementoring sessions to equip thousands of healthcare workers with the knowledge and support they need to utilize the latest medical technologies and innovations, not just today but for years to come.

This is just the beginning. You can make a gift today that will protect the health of millions of mothers and babies well beyond 2025. Our world-class products are priced affordably to create a sustainable marketplace that serves low-income populations and continues to have impact well beyond your support. The Catalytic Fund will seed the launch of innovations that will reach 10+ million patients by 2030.

How Can You Get Involved?

Be a part of the team that is bringing life-changing and life-saving medical innovation to doctors, nurses, mothers, babies, and patients across the world. Join a network of philanthropists driven by impact. Recognized by The Life You Can Save and Charity Navigator as one of the world’s most effective charities, Equalize Health is committed to building on the impact we have had so far and accelerating change to where it is most needed.

Donate today by donor-advised fund, online, wire transfer, stock, check by mail, or talk to us directly about making a grant to the Fund. All donations made in the U.S. are fully tax-deductible. We are also actively looking for Catalytic Fund committee members who will help Equalize Health lead this change and create a community of changemakers who are dedicated to ending the leading causes of maternal and newborn mortality. We look forward to creating a world together, where mothers and newborns everywhere have access to quality healthcare. Thank you.

Support the Catalytic Fund

    "It’s heartbreaking that today, millions of people are still dying of preventable deaths from conditions where we have the technology to treat them.

    One conversation in particular has stayed with me through these years. Our team was in Rwanda to set up a study of Brilliance, our phototherapy device. I met a pediatrician while there, (we’ll call him) Dr. Victor. He is in his mid-30s, works at a large public hospital and was trained in France. He, his colleagues, and the nursing staff work long hours and are, clearly, very able.  His hospital is a hub of activity. Women come to give birth, and families bring their sick children from hours around. When we entered the NICU, he told me, “I have the skills to save these babies, I was trained to save these babies, but we don’t have the right tools here.” 

    CPAPs are readily available in the global market, and have been for 50+ years. There are even CPAPs designed for hospitals like his. Yet, for a variety of reasons, they don’t work there or aren’t accessible. So, I asked Victor: How do you care for these babies? He said: “I can only pray for them.” As we talked more about our work, he said: “You must work on CPAP to save the premature babies.” And we must do it now. "

     - Krista Donaldson, PhD, CEO, Equalize Health