3. Birthing Kits
Soap. A plastic sheet. A new razor blade. Some string. As low-tech as you can get, but each of the many thousands of 25-cent birthing kits distributed through health and relief organizations can save a life, according to research supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. According to PATH, an international nonprofit that has distributed these simple kits in countries including Bangladesh, Egypt, and Nepal, infection is a leading cause of death for some 1,600 women each day from complications associated with childbirth. Nearly 1 million newborns die each year of infection. With 57 million women giving birth each year without trained health-care assistance, birthing kits pack a huge potential impact.