Updated Jan 16, 2018

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A Maternal Device for the Prevention of Stillbirth and Low Birthweight


The innovation has no owner


Stage 3: Proof of Concept

Every year, approximately 2.6 million stillbirths occur and 20 million low birth-weight babies are born worldwide. The vast majority of these cases occur in low-income countries. Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest rate of SB globally some of the highest rates of LBW. Several studies have identified sleeping on the back during pregnancy as a potential risk factor for having SB or LBW baby. This is significant, since pregnant women spend up to 25% of their sleeping time on their back.
In addition to working with local midwives and obstetricians, the research team will also work with traditional birth assistants in Ghana to refine and increase access to the PrenaBelt, while ensuring cultural acceptability and maximizing user adherence.

Registered in Canada.

Focus Areas:

Health and Human Centered Design

Health and Human Centered DesignSEE LESS

Implemented In:

Ghana and Canada

Ghana and CanadaSEE LESS

Countries Implemented In
Verified Funding

Innovation Description

‘PrenaBelt’ is designed to reduce the amount of time pregnant women sleep on their back, an identified risk factor for having a stillbirth (SB) or low birth-weight (LBW) baby.
How does your innovation work?
Innovators from ICChange, through their support of GIRHL, will test a simple, low-cost and easy-to-implement device that can mitigate the risk factor and reduce SB and LBW. The PrenaBelt causes subtle pressure points when pregnant woman rolls onto her back. These pressure points activate the body’s natural response to spontaneously relieve this pressure by changing position to her side.

Planned Goals and Milestones

Ongoing impact and sustainability will be ensured by establishing or partnering with a company that will utilize an innovative, social-enterprise model of business to increase access to the technology in resource-limited settings. Follow the project team on Twitter @AllanKember, @ICChangeAB, @GlobReproHealth.
With funding from Grand Challenges Canada, the PrenaBelt will be evaluated in Halifax (Canada). Subsequently, the PrenaBelt will be trialed in Accra (Ghana) to determine its impact on pregnancy outcomes (birth weight, stillbirth). The research team will also assess the feasibility of incorporating the PrenaBelt into standard antenatal care in a resource-limited setting. It is expected that the PrenaBelt will be effective in reducing the time a pregnant woman spends sleeping on her back.


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