Some of the world’s most pressing issues are related to quotidian routines in life a lot of us take for granted. For many people around the world, lack of access to basic medical laboratory testing, missing education about normal body functions and the use of hazardous cooking equipment can become at best an inconvenient truth; at worst, they are deadly.
Searching for how to solve these problems can be a daunting experience, especially when the statistics attached to them may seem insurmountable. In Sub-Saharan Africa, poor infrastructure prevents many people from access to basic laboratory medical testing; In India, 30 percent of girls are unaware of menstruation at the time of their first periods; and, around the world, smoke inhalation from cookstoves are responsible for nearly four million deaths each year.
For our current TEDxSpotlights series, we are focusing on three TEDx talks that speak to the ways in which design plays a part in eradicating these problems, often through solutions that hardly seem radical. We’re calling it TEDxSpotlights>Design for Global Health. The designs profiled in these talks are so logical that a light bulb should pop up over them: Creating a comic book to educate young women about menstruation; using drones to fly lab samples; and establishing standards in cooking technology. These clever solutions provide a better life — and they often save lives — for countless people around the world.
Watch the three talks below:
A taboo-free way to talk about periods | Aditi Gupta | TEDxGatewayWomen
In India, three out of ten girls are unaware of menstruation at the time of their first period. Considered “impure” and “unclean,” menstruating women are often restricted from entering temples, touching food or sitting on furniture during their cycles. Because of this stigma, 88% of women and girls resort to unhygienic ways to manage their periods, resulting in rashes and infection. Aditi Gupta, co-founder of Menstrupedia, is committed to breaking this menstruation taboo. In her talk from TEDxGatewayWomen, Aditi introduces the comic book she created to educate young women about their periods in a fun, engaging way.
Drones and the Future of Medicine | Timothy Amukele | TEDxClaremontColleges
High quality lab systems are essential to global public health. In Sub-Saharan Africa, access to rural labs is limited due to unpredictable roads and transport. Labs are often hidden on unmarked streets or attached to a person’s home. To solve this problem, Tim Amukele is flying samples from clinics to inaccessible labs using drones. From TEDxClaremontColleges, Amukele explains how asking questions led him to find a new way of delivering better diagnoses to developing countries.
Let’s be hungry to advance how the world cooks | Ranyee Chiang | TEDxPlaceDesNations
Almost half the world cooks on open fires and traditional stoves using fuels like wood, charcoal and dung. Smoke inhalation from cookstoves results in almost 4 million deaths every year. These stoves also impact the environment, annually consuming 500 million tons of non-renewable wood. In her passionate talk from TEDxPlaceDesNations, Ranyee Chiang presents the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), a global community dedicated to improving standards in cooking technologies to “advance how the world cooks.”