It is making low cost infant warmers using locally available raw materials to help new young mothers in refugee settlements to improve care for at-risk or premature babies
BabyKit Company Limited’s social mission is to produce quality and unique products which are made out of the locally grown cotton that acts as a baby warmer to the new born babies (0-3 months) in Africa. The babykit sifo for newborns will help mothers living in refugee settlements/conflict areas who want to keep their new born babies aged 0– 3 months warm by providing low-cost and locally made cotton baby warmers at health care service delivery points in their locality thus reducing the risk of pneumonia
New mothers living in a refugee settlements or in conflict areas face a problem of infant ( (0 – 3 months) ) pneumonia because the mother cannot afford warm beddings and stays in a poorly constructed home. Currently, they’re using lighter pieces of cloth, lighter blankets which cannot provide adequate warmth to the baby. However the team has developed a low-cost and high-quality baby warmer product that consists of a sifo warmer and a blanket to the new mothers. This product is being provided at the health service delivery point during discharge. The team is observing a reduction in the number of pneumonia cases thus an improvement in maternal health.
Progress and Results
The team had many test areas based on feedback from the end user
- a)The need: The team conducted a needs assessment to validate whether the discharge and pregnant mother in refugee/host community in refugee settlements that have been discharged from health facilities would take their baby warmer because newborn babies lack warm bedding to prevent them from coldness due to the poor housing structures. The feedback was positive with the target audience showing interest in the product
- b)Affordability: The team conducted an experiment to validate whether discharge and pregnant mother in refugee/host community can afford to buy products at low cost- the outcome was positive i.e. discharge & pregnant mothers in refugee/host communities can afford to buy the babykit products
- c)Distribution: Given the geographical locations of the health centers, discharge and pregnant mothers in refugee/host communities, the BabyKit team experimented on which channels to use to distribute their products to the target user. This involved leveraging the Village Health Teams community structures and the outcome was that they are willing to resell it and the margins from revenues they are willing to accept.
- Marketing & Scale: To validate this test area, the team experimented on
- The impact of a sales and payment plan on Packaged Sifo & Baby blanket products
- How advertisement can create awareness for the packaged Sifo & baby blanket product and subsequently lead to an increase in the sales i.e. increase in the number of expecting mothers buying
Challenges and Lessons Learnt
Low supply versus high demand for cotton because few farmers in West Nile grow cotton; amount of time spent in sorting the cotton seeds and limited sewing machines pause challenges to the successful full scaling of the initiative. However, in order to overcome these challenges, the team has adopted an in house and outgrower model in which team members are being encouraged to grow cotton and have assured market while the same is being done for external farmers; for limited sewing machines, the team plans to invest in more sewing machines over time as the demand for the product increases