Meet Malav Sanghavi.
The ideator, marketeer and founder of LifeCradle, a low cost baby incubator built using cardboard and is finding its way in rural India. This innovation catapulted Malav into the Forbes 30 Under 30 India list, and we describe it using just one word: exceptional!
According to WHO, 99% of newborn deaths occur in middle and lower income countries. due to unavailability of low cost care for the babies. It is a challenge, majorly because “healthcare” has always been a costly affair.
But little did WHO know, on another continent, a man was grateful to watch his niece breathe peacefully in a hi-tech incubator. She had survived. But 3 million babies do not only because their parents cannot afford medical facilities.
It is a harsh reality, and Malav decided to act on it.
Phase I: The Inception
LifeCradle was born after Malav’s niece was cared-for in an incubator.
Her birth was Malav’s defining moment. Living in a developed area of the country, he wondered about the similar ordeals faced in a village of Uttar Pradesh or in other remote areas across the globe, where the sheer distance of “nearest medicare” could decide a baby’s fate.
This thought propelled Malav to work for neonatal care at grassroot levels and developing ideas for a unique, low-cost incubator.
Aligning with United Nations Sustainable Development Goal mission of good health, LifeCradle started their research in India. India alone has 3,519,100 pre-term births every year and also the highest in the world. There are approximately 750,000 newborn deaths every year and only 177,248 Rural Public Healthcare Centers.
Malav explains the current situation in India, “Our field research in India, highlighted high costs associated with providing neonatal facilities at every healthcare centre, along with inconsistency of electrical energy supplies required to run medical equipment and this contributed to unavailability of neonatal care at grassroot level.”
He was on a mission and it was going to be revolutionary.
Phase II: Creating From Cardboard
In the critical first days, a baby requires warmth against hypothermia, sterilized or hygienic environment and regular monitoring of vitals like heart rate and body temperature.
It laid the foundation for the basic necessities in a LifeCradle incubator. There was also a reason for choosing cardboard.
Malav explains, “Cardboard acts as an insulator, thus serving both the purposes in our business model. Firstly, acting as a cost-effective, readily available base and secondly, serving as a makeshift cot till the child outgrows it.”
From optimizing cardboard material for neonatal care, to maintaining warmth inside, this phase was nothing short of obstacles.
Phase III: Growing Up
So, how does LifeCradle work?
The child is discharged from the hospital in the box. This helps the parents maintain hygienic conditions lacking in poverty stricken areas. The lid, however, is embedded with technology to monitor the vitals and is reused by Medical Centers.
He says, “Dedicating one cardboard box to one child helps in containing infection problems. From a sustainability point, we can provide this to mass market as it will not have negative impact on the environment.”
Being a social enterprise, LifeCradle had to be affordable.
As told to The Warehouse,
“We have cut down the manufacturing prices by 90%. It is extremely cheap compared to the existing ones in the market.”
Though the company is still at a product development stage, it is already creating waves in the market.
Malav and his team are gaining momentum steadily across the globe.
“We are collaborating with key institutions in USA, UK and India and garnering support from NGOs, to alleviate LifeCradle to a raging success. The combined experience will lead to a faster growth and implementation of the solution in the society.
For such innovation at grassroot level, LifeCradle has been showered with accolades globally as well.
From has been awarded by United Nations Sustainable Development Solution Network, Italy (LifeCradle) to Honorary Award for Outstanding Project for people, Ahmedabad, India, LifeCradle is creating waves across continents.
Want to know more about LifeCradle? Check out their Facebook page: @LifeCradle