Millions of women and girls lack access to essential health products around vulnerable times of menstruation and childbirth, which endangers their health, education and safety. Stigma and taboos prevent women from seeking support, while aid organizations have been slow to integrate women's health and hygiene into their programs. As a result, women refugees and migrants continue to die and suffer from the inability to effectively manage their body's natural processes in a foreign environment.
ayzh has an innovative model for developing and distributing simple, low-cost products that meet the unique needs of women in low-resource settings, targeting the entire continuum of reproductive, maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health (RMNCH+A). Our signature “kit style” product suite gives healthcare workers and mothers access to simple tools that increase adherence to global standards that improve health, survival, and wellbeing.
Since starting sales in 2012, ayzh has sold more then 250,000 products to more than 300 institutions worldwide in 15 countries. Specific to addressing the needs of refugee and migrant women, we have sold/distributed a total of 2500 kits to international aid organizations – we have two pilot projects underway with Circle of Health International (COHI) and InterEuropean Human Aid Association (IHA) to distribute our Clean Birth Kits, Menstrual Hygiene Kits and Clean Birth Kits in humanitarian settings. Through IHA, we are exploring a pilot of 5,000 kits in 20 refugee camps in Central Macedonia where more than 21,000 refugees live and approximately 35 percent are women and girls over the age of fourteen. We evaluate progress with three core metrics: (1) ACCESS to essential commodities, measured by number of products sold; (2) ADHERENCE to global standards and best practices, measured by number of healthcare workers trained to use our products; and (3) ADVOCACY around the need for women’s health and hygiene (“demand creation”), measured by the number of mothers and women we reach through grassroots empowerment campaigns. Internally, we also assess our performance and progress in terms of product quality, client and user satisfaction, company financial sustainability, and gender equality.
How does your innovation work?
Our core product, janma (Clean Birth Kits) contain simple tools that prevent infection around the time of childbirth. To meet new needs of existing customers, we developed new products shishu (essential Newborn Care Kits), kanya (Menstrual Hygiene Kits) and janani (Postpartum Hygiene Kits). Core to our model is providing employment and economic opportunity t o Indian women who assemble our products. Expanding our already established distribution channels, we are now partnering with international relief organizations for targeted distribution in refugee and humanitarian settings, initially responding to the need for menstrual hygiene products. It is our long-term vision that the ayzh brand and our integrated product suite serves as a platform to help women and girls understand, seek, and demand sanitation and hygiene throughout their life, across the entire RMNCH+A continuum.