21 December 2023

Elevating Childhood Vaccination

One-third of UNICEF's  zero-dose children  in the East Asia and the Pacific Region live in the Philippines, and the challenge of ensuring universal vaccination is significant.   In response, the UNICEF Office of Innovation has proactively supported the development and implementation of an innovative real-time vaccine monitoring toolkit known as …, The Challenge , The Philippines stands among the top five nations globally grappling with the challenge of zero-dose children. With a landscape spanning over 2,000 inhabited islands, despite great strides made by the government and its partners, routine coverage of fundamental vaccines hovers between 70 and 80 per cent.  Old vaccine monitoring processes rely on…, Scaling journey , The Office of Innovation supported the scale-up of the RT-VaMA initiative. UNICEF first used Open Data Kit in the Philippines in 2019 to support vaccination during a polio outbreak. With the Office of Innovation's support, the initiative was scaled up in 2023 to improve vaccination planning and implementation.  Through this support, the Department…, The Impact , Early results from RT-VaMA are promising, as the tool efficiently pinpointed health centers prepared for the campaign, enabling timely interventions for those lagging before the campaign's launch. Managers received alerts about facility readiness, allowing them to proactively address issues and enhance preparedness.  Throughout the campaign, RT-…, Learning and Looking Ahead , Achieving ownership and sustainability of the process was critical, and necessitated ensuring government support at both the local and national levels. This was made possible through robust coordination between the government and partners, including establishing effective feedback mechanisms.  ​​​The implementation of RT-VaMA highlights the…
15 November 2023

Newborn Health Innovations

The challenge, Preventable newborn mortality and morbidity are unacceptably high. In 2020, over 2.4 million children lose their lives within the first month, accounting for 47 per cent of deaths among children under the age of 5 globally . The vast majority of preventable newborn deaths happen in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) . In LMICs, there are…, 47% , of under-5 child deaths occur in newborns. Globally, 2.4 million children , died in their first month globally.  Stillbirth icon, The first 28 days, are key to prevent newborn deaths with proven interventions and improved care., The response, UNICEF is working with partners to improve the availability of needed technologies for essential newborn care at all health system levels and drive demand for existing and upcoming newborn product suites. Efforts are also focused on identifying gaps and increasing accessibility to sustainable, affordable, and easy-to-use products suitable for low-…, Icon for UNICEF Newborn Health Procurement Tool PILOT for Newborn Health Procurement Tool, Ensuring appropriate and comprehensive newborn care products available at health facilities can help save millions of babies in the first 28 days of their lives. Through project PILOT (ProcureMate for Integrated Lifesaving Obstetric and newborn Technologies), UNICEF worked to develop the Newborn Health Procurement Tool, an easy-to-use and…, Icon for UNICEF Jaundice Management BALLERINA for Jaundice Management, Jaundice occurs in almost all newborn patients. Early screening and diagnosis are crucial for enabling effective phototherapy treatment and prevent the progression of severe cases that could lead to potential brain damage due to limited access to blood transfusion within eight hours. UNICEF is working on project BALLERINA (Bilirubin Assessment to…, Icon for UNICEF Thermal Management HERO for Thermal Management, Adequate thermal support during transport can be critical to a newborn’s survival in the first hours of their lives.  Through project HERO (Heat Emergency Response for Optimal Neonatal Care),​ UNICEF is innovating to introduce and accelerate access to devices that provide effective thermal support during neonatal transport, as newborns are most…, Icon for UNICEF Hypoglycemia Management fireFIGHTer for Hypoglycemia Management, Hypoglycaemia affect 5–10% of healthy infants and 54% of late preterm babies . In low-resource settings, newborns often rely on cheap and non-standardised adult glucometers intended for diabetic patients, which fails to provide adequate, consistent monitoring of rapidly fluctuating glucose levels in newborns. Inaccurate diagnosis and delayed…, icon for Point of Care Ultrasound ASTRONAUT for Point of Care Ultrasound, Effective and timely ultrasounds scans are important to monitor and ensure the baby’s healthy development before and after birth.​ An early ultrasound scan before 24 weeks of gestation is recommended for pregnant women to accurately determine the gestational age, detect any fetal abnormalities or multiple pregnancies, and enhance the overall…, The impact, Working to improve access to affordable, high-quality newborn care products, UNICEF’s DREAMS suite for Newborn Health is crucial to help end preventable newborn deaths and stillbirths by 2030, as outlined in the Every Newborn Action Plan , ensuring every baby has a fair chance to dream big., Resources
14 August 2023

UNICEF Funding Opportunity for Health Tech Startups

The UNICEF Venture Fund is looking to invest in Open Source frontier technology solutions that have the potential to create radical change in children’s health, nutrition, and mental health. We are offering up to US$100K in equity-free funding for early stage, for-profit technology start-ups that can improve the lives of children. If your company…, The Challenge, Every child has the right to survive and thrive. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a negative impact on global health, nutrition and mental health indicators for children. It has also amplified the persistent inequities in access to quality healthcare, especially in low- and middle-income countries. Factors such as where a child is born, their gender…, What we're looking for, UNICEF’s innovation portfolio approach prioritizes addressing the most challenging problems faced by children and young people through nine thematic portfolios, including maternal, newborn, child & adolescent health, nutrition, mental health, youth, and humanitarian response to reach the most vulnerable populations. These portfolios prioritize…, Background, UNICEF’s Venture Fund has been specifically designed to finance early stage, Open Source technology that can benefit children. The core motivation of the Venture Fund is to identify “clusters” or portfolios of initiatives around emerging technology  so that UNICEF can both shape markets and learn about and guide these technologies for children. We…