2013 Tutu Fellow Dr Francois Bonnici shares in his TEDx talk in 2010 the issue of newborn survival. He starts out by asking which seems more dangerous - bungy jumping, shark infested waters, air travel? Rather, he says, it is infant mortality. The day we are born is the day we have the highest risk of dying.
Statistics show how incredibly big an issue newborn mortality is, and how investment in health has had great strides in improving the numbers. In some countries in Africa, the numbers can be as high as one child in 16 dies at birth. He has been trying to change the African health system and to raise awareness by working in humanitarian and development programs.
Francois talks about how important it is to be creative and innovative with the resources available and how difficult the lessons have been that he learned while practicing medicine. He mentions the so called no-tech solutions like skin to skin care. In order to save lives, the medical equipment needs to be accessible, safe, effective and appropriate for where it’s being used. It also has to be low cost, easy to use, robust and energy independent.
Francois is the Founding Director of the Bertha Centre for Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship at the University of Cape Town. You can watch his full piece below. Although the video quality is in line with older videos, the piece is powerful.