News Releases
ABC News, Duke Global Health Institute Announce Maternal Health Challenge for University Students Worldwide
March 8, 2011

Competition aimed at designing life-saving solutions, supported by The Lemelson Foundation


March 8, 2011 – Around the world, 350,000 women continue to die each year of complications due to childbirth. In the vast majority of cases, women are dying of preventable causes: severe bleeding, infection, obstructed labor and a host of other problems that can be averted with skilled care and improved technology. Somewhere amidst the deep pools of knowledge, creativity and passion at work in today's universities is an innovation to improve health care delivery, an inventive piece of technology designed for low-tech clinics and home delivery or an altogether new method which could revolutionize maternal health practices.

ABC News' Be the Change: Save a Life and the Duke Global Health Institute announce an opportunity for university students—undergraduate, graduates and professional students—to design emerging innovations in maternal health care. The challenge will provide a launch pad to take those ideas, or early prototypes, into the world. In partnership with The Lemelson Foundation, the challenge encourages students from around the world to submit a five-minute video explaining their big idea for improving maternal health.

Three finalists will be selected and one winning individual or team will win $10,000 and the opportunity to work with experts to develop and test the idea in the field. The Lemelson Foundation will connect the winner(s) with its partners who will offer mentorship support in the development, marketing and distribution process. The winner will also be invited to present his or her work before global health experts at the Consortium of Universities for Global Health Conference in November in Montreal, Canada.

An international panel of global health experts will select the winning entries based on the innovation, potential impact and feasibility of the idea. For more information about the Challenge guidelines and criteria, visit

Entries will be accepted at through April 29. Winners will be announced in early May. Follow #maternalchallenge for updates on the competition or visit us on Facebook at Be the Change: Save a Life.

To learn more about Be the Change: Save a Life initiative at ABC News, visit To learn more about the Duke Global Health Institute, please visit To learn more about The Lemelson Foundation, visit