Our Commitment to Mothers and Newborns Around the World
Dec 14, 2016
Every holiday season, we come together as family and friends. Whatever your holiday tradition is, most of us take the time to reflect on what this season means to us. For most of us, the holiday season is a happy one. But for many, especially in the developing world, the situation is quite different.
Every day, 800 women will die from almost entirely preventable complications related to pregnancy and childbirth. Approximately 2,800 babies will die on the same day they are born.
At Mitera, we not only celebrate mothers but we also support them. In my last post, I talked about what Mitera stands for. I truly believe as we become mothers, our capacity for love grows. So, through our Mother to Mother program, we want to harness the love and the bond of motherhood to effect positive change in the lives of other moms and babies. Our intention is not just to have a charity component to our business for marketing purposes. Rather, we aim to support and work with innovators and market disruptors that are influencing social change - in this case, to improve maternal and newborn health. Years of working in international development and traditional aid programs made me realize that innovations are key to solving the world's biggest challenges.
OUR FIRST GIVING PARTNER
As our first giving partner, we are excited to work with D-Rev, a San Francisco based non-profit product development company dedicated to improving access to world class medical technologies for the population living under $4 a day. Mitera’s support will directly benefit D-Rev’s Newborn Health program, whose first and flagship product is a world-class phototherapy device for infants suffering from neonatal jaundice in developing countries.
We chose to partner with them for five key reasons:
1) Mission alignment- given the harsh reality that almost half of under 5 childhood deaths occurs during their first month of life, D-Rev's focus on newborn health aligns with our own passion and mission. We believe in D-Rev's mission to improving health for all people, regardless of their income or place of birth and to 'close the quality healthcare gap for under-served populations by designing and delivering user-centric and affordable medical technologies.
2) Innovation – D-Rev is innovative in how it aims to achieve the goal of radically improving accessibility to health technologies that can save and improve people’s lives. Their phototherapy device called ‘Brilliance’ aims to substantially improve treatment of neonatal jaundice in the developing world.
3) Market-Driven - all of the products are designed to scale on the market, not through donations or subsidies.
4) Transparency – D-Rev is committed to transparency, which is important to us in terms of sharing with our customers what impact their programs. Read their 2014 annual report here.
5 ) Female and Mom CEO – Krista Donaldson, an accomplished Stanford-trained engineer is not only passionate about how to improve access to critical life-saving technologies in the developing world but also a loving and committed mom of two.
Jaundice is the #1 reason why newborns are readmitted to hospitals worldwide.
WHY NEONATAL JAUNDICE?
You may ask why focus on neonatal jaundice? "It is not a problem we think about very much in the United States but in much of the world it is a serious medical condition" (Krista Donaldson, Founder of D-Rev). If left untreated, it can cause deafness, cerebral palsy, permanent brain damage and death. As Krista explains in this video, 12 million babies are in need of phototherapy treatment but do not always have access to it.
Two years ago, I had my own heart-wrenching experience with a jaundiced baby. As my husband and I drove home blissfully with our newborn daughter, we received an urgent call from her pediatrician instructing us to turn around immediately and return to the hospital. My own daughter was diagnosed with severe jaundice. We spent three more days in the NICU for phototherapy treatment and I left feeling so fortunate to have been surrounded by diagnostics and the technology that was needed to quickly and efficiently treat my daughter.
This personal experience with neonatal jaundice helped me further understand and appreciate D-Rev's mission.
THE IMPACT OF MITERA'S SUPPORT
With every dress we sell, we make a meaningful financial contribution to D-Rev’s newborn health program. With Mitera’s support, the program will expand the reach of Brilliance into sub-Saharan and East Africa, key priority markets for D-Rev to research and reach in 2015. You can also donate directly to D-Rev here.
We are so excited to be working together as partners to improve newborns' their families' lives around the world!
Founder of Mitera, Yoko Shimada is a wife, mother of two children (4 and 2) and global public health expert who still makes the time to be a triathlete (half ironman finisher!), wine lover, experimental chef, avid traveler, voracious reader, and a student of photography. A designer with an innovative vision, she wants to make moms feel confident, empowered, stylish and chic.