Fighting HIV, helping women and children, and boosting local technology
South Africa is the perfect illustration of a country with tremendous need for health innovations and the potential to develop and deliver those breakthroughs. Although the country is one of Africa’s largest economies, it still carries heavy health burdens, including high rates of HIV and maternal and child mortality. For more than a decade, PATH’s work there has focused on improving health for women and children and helping those most affected by HIV and AIDS.
The country is also in the economic and technological vanguard, making it an ideal site for one of our global health innovation hubs. The hubs help develop promising local technology for healthier women and children everywhere.
Our work in South Africa
Our projects in South Africa focus on improving maternal health, enhancing infant and young child health, strengthening health systems, and preventing and treating HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis. We also collaborate in the development and introduction of health technologies that address key causes of illness and death in women and children.
HIV: PATH is raising awareness of HIV; reducing stigma, especially among men who have sex with men; and developing people’s skills to address the disease. Our efforts range from developing an HIV wellness program for small businesses to supporting women to breastfeed—a key to preventing mother-to-child transmission. We support orphans and vulnerable children and the community members who care for them. We also work to empower women and reduce gender-based violence.
Maternal and child health: To give children the best start in life, PATH is strengthening care over the course of the first 1,000 days of life by ensuring women get regular prenatal care, infants are born safely, and babies get health, nutrition, and early childhood development services. We are helping to launch milk banks to provide donor milk to vulnerable infants, using a smart phone device that monitors pasteurization. We also introduce and monitor the impact of new technologies and techniques to reduce maternal and child deaths—from a low-cost uterine balloon tamponade that stops postpartum hemorrhage to an easy-to-use device to detect anemia.
Innovative technology: The Global Health Innovation Accelerator—a partnership between PATH and the South African Medical Research Council—is shifting the nexus of health innovation to the people who know South Africa’s needs best: South Africans. We work with technology developers, manufacturers, and distributors to accelerate the introduction of the most promising medical devices, diagnostics, and other tools to low-resource communities. Its location in Cape Town provides a central hub to expand the use of potentially lifesaving products beyond South Africa’s borders.
Photo: PATH/Patrick McKern.
Investing early so children survive and thrive
PATH’s engine for accelerating access to promising health technologies through local innovators
Human milk banks
Human milk banks may help save vulnerable babies