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Making global goals local - Palladium partner named a UN Pioneer for sustainable development goals

Zubaida Bai founded ayzh in India, based on the belief that every woman has the right to a safe birth and affordable healthcare. Since 2010, Zubaida has attracted clients and strategic partners from around the world, putting over 240,000 Clean Birth Kits out into the market, all while putting health products into the hands of the women who need them the most. Through Project Ujjwal, Palladium supported ayzh with market access, marketing costs and scale-up strategy in the states of Bihar and Odisha in Northern India.

Zubaida Bai, ayzh founder and Chief Executive.

"As my knowledge and expertise in my field has grown I see that there is a compelling desire for low-cost, quality health products customized for the developing world. Hospitals, small clinics, and the women themselves see a sustainable solution to their needs”- Zubaida Bai, ayzh founder and Chief Executive.

What’s it all about?
The Local SDG Pioneers initiative gives local leaders a global stage to inspire transformational action on the SDGs. As part of the UN Global Compact’s Making Global Goals Local Business campaign, the programme supports efforts to turn the SDGs into drivers for sustainable business to unlock economic, social and environmental gains for the world. The 2016 pool of Pioneers represent a global cross-section of business leaders and change-makers, all striving to demonstrate how business can be a force for good.

Announced in June at the UN Global Compact Summit, the Local SDG Pioneers are each leading important initiatives that sustain economic and social value. As a pioneer for safe and healthy births, ayzh founder Zubaida Bai is a worthy recipient. With a background in mechanical engineering, and as a mother of three, Zubaida has designed maternal health products that align with India’s commitment to increasing access to effective and affordable health commodities. Zubaida is driving Positive Impact, and in so doing has forged partnerships with international businesses to facilitate entry into new markets and access to high priority communities.

ayzh’s products, including Clean Birth Kits (branded JANMA), are proving transformational and help communities achieve globally recommended best practices to reduce morbidity and mortality. Indeed, ayzh is not just an Indian phenomenon; the social enterprise is already active in supplying products to Africa, Haiti, Honduras, Laos and Afghanistan. ayzh has also been recognized with several awards, including MIT’s D-Lab Scale Up Fellowship project. The JANMA: Clean Birth Kit in a Purse was also chosen as one of the 61 global products designed to improve life by INDEX.

The Ujjwal-ayzh partnership: breaking barriers to market entry
Partnering with Project Ujjwal has been critical in helping ayzh expand into new low-resource and high priority health markets in Northern India.

Ujjwal has developed a vibrant network of more than 300 private health franchises to improve access to family planning and maternal health services across Bihar and Odisha. Palladium and ayzh successfully reached out to this network of private health providers to market the long-term use of JANMA birth kits to mothers and children. In addition to JANMA, priority RMNCH (reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health) products have also been made available to private clinics, with franchisors offering more than just clinical services in order to increase their client offering and income potential.

Project Ujjwal demonstrates Positive Impact in action – enduring social value underpinned by the establishment of dynamic and responsive private sector networks. Ayzh and Zubaida Bai have shown the social and economic value that smart, context-appropriate products like JANMA can have.

Congratulations to Zubaida Bai from the whole Palladium team.

About Project Ujjwal
The “Improved Family Planning and Reproductive Health Services in India” project (Project Ujjwal) was a part of the UK aid Framework for Results to improve reproductive, maternal and newborn health in the developing world. Ujjwal worked to reduce maternal deaths from unwanted pregnancies by increasing the use of family planning methods, improving birth spacing practices and preventing unsafe abortions in Bihar and Odisha in Northern India. Through the private sector, the project supported the rapid scale-up of quality family planning services for the poor, young, low parity and socially excluded couples, women and men.