FullSoul Health Solutions

This Entry has been submitted.

FullSoul Health Solutions: Delivering Medical Kits to Improve Maternal Health in the Developing World

Waterloo, CanadaUganda
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
Project Stage:
$1,000 - $10,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

FullSoul equips hospitals in Uganda with medical supplies to protect the health and safety of mothers, babies and medical practitioners during childbirth. We are starting with Uganda and plan to expand across Africa. Medical equipment is delivered to health centers bi-annually.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if every woman survived preventable childbirth-related complications?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Every 2 minutes a woman dies from preventable childbirth-related complications. In Uganda, approximately 8,000 women die every year during childbirth. The reasons for this are complex and multifaceted, but one pressing issue is that many hospitals lack the most basic medical supplies. When scarce, the responsibility is placed on expectant mothers and their families to bring their own tools. A shortage means that razors will be shared.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

The equipment for safe childbirth procedures are low cost, simple to use and easy to sterilize. We are focusing on hospitals and health centers that have an autoclave (a medical sterilization tool). The contents of these medical kits include: artery forceps, scissors, needle holders, dissecting forceps and kidney dishes. These kits are placed in cabinets installed on the walls so that the equipment stays sterilized. The tools are also engraved with the hospital's name to discourage theft and encourage accountability. The combined effort of tools, cabinets, and engraving create a positive experience for the woman, child and health care worker.


Christina Marchand won the following on behalf of FullSoul Canada : - YMCA Peace Medallion in 2013. - TedxTalk in early 2014. - RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Award) in 2015. - University of Waterloo’s Young Alumni Award in 2015.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

When a hospital is equipped with FullSoul kits, an expecting mother will not be turned away for not having the required tools. She will only need to bring cotton, gloves, blankets and garbage bags, reducing the financial barrier to access safe healthcare for many women. During delivery, cuts to the vaginal wall (episiotomy) are done with sterile scissors, rather than previously used razor blades. The baby’s umbilical cord would be tied with sterile artery forceps rather than pieces of a used glove. Healthcare workers will use a needle holder and driver to guide the needle to repair any vaginal tears, SIGNIFICANTLY reducing the risk of transmission of disease to the healthcare worker.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

We have delivered, installed, and trained providers in the use of, 13 medical kits in 3 hospitals since starting FullSoul in January 2014. Each kit can be used to ensure the safe delivery of 2 babies per day, 365 days per year, for up to 20 years. Thus, each kit can be used to deliver over 14,000 babies. In Uganda, 16 women die everyday during childbirth. Many of these deaths are from preventable causes. Our kits help prevent these deaths by providing much-needed tools for safe labour and delivery. The kits also protect doctors and midwives by providing them with safe, sanitized tools. In the long run, better-equipped hospitals will encourage women to give birth with a health professional rather than at home where complications can arise but not be treated. We have primed 8 more hospitals to receive kits in Uganda and look forward to finalizing our first evaluation.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

In order to reach our 5 year goal of all hospitals served in Uganda, we will follow our 3 R approach: 1. Building relationships (with commercial partners, governments, partners and local project sites to facilitate further connections leading to stronger on the ground support of our mandate). 2. Returning Social Capital (We invest in the people (health care workers, educators and mothers) to return the benefits to their communities.) 3. Reality Checks (Constant evaluation with industry stakeholders, policymakers, and end users to ensure kits are benefiting the maximum amount of people).

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

1) We will sell our kits to aid organizations, private hospitals and regional governments. 2) We will also sell charitable tourism experiences to persons in developed countries who want to combine a holiday with making the world a better place. 3) Sponsorship opportunities will be available to those who want to sponsor a kit(s). Sponsors will receive benefits such as a thank you gift, advertizing space and having a maternity ward named after them

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Every Mother Counts provide Ugandan women with access to transportation to reach a medical facility and educates expectant mothers on the importance of safe childbirth practices. FullSoul provides the equipment necessary for a safe birth. Both UNICEF delivers emergency medical kits to the developing world that includes equipment to help provide a safe delivery and reduce transmission of diseases during childbirth. These kits are large, expensive, and intended to equip entire hospitals with a variety of tools, not just the most essential ones. FullSoul kits are more specific and affordable.

Founding Story

Christina Marchand, the founder, spent 8 months living and working in Uganda and volunteering at a hospital. The hospital was so understaffed they desperately needed her help to deliver babies, of which she delivered dozens during emotionally and physically draining 24 hour shifts. While very rare for mothers to die in childbirth in her home, Canada, she witnessed firsthand this is not the case in Uganda. Christina watched a young woman, Alice, die of a complication during childbirth. She felt enraged that the hospital didn’t have the tools needed to help her. Determined to better the situation, Christina started FullSoul.


FullSoul has two founders: Christina Marchand, currently completing a Masters in Public Health; and Hyder Hassan, who has over 10 years of finance experience in wealth management and banking. Both are Rotarians, and graduates of the University of Waterloo, and have gone on several trips to Uganda to develop relationships and deliver medical kits. The FullSoul team is made up of 11 part-time volunteers with a wide variety of backgrounds including: health, research, business strategy, fundraising, social media, website design and more.
CO-CREATION IDEA: Please offer a brief description of how you imagine a win-win partnership with Boehringer Ingelheim to better serve unmet needs in health. (Hint: Please mention the underlying business model envisioned that would make such a partnership sustainable.)

FullSoul and Boehringer Ingelheim together tackle the issue of maternal and neonatal health in developing countries, starting with Uganda. FullSoul has developed the relationships necessary to initiate the process of delivering medical kits to Uganda and has a team of dedicated volunteers to deliver the kits to hospitals and health centers. What Boehringer Ingelheim could provide is assistance with finding more upstream medical equipment suppliers to reduce the costs of the kits. This project would also greatly benefit from public policy knowledge, marketing support and financing from Boehringer Ingelheim. Boehringer Ingelheim would be able to leverage FullSoul's network of hospital administrators to whom it could sell its products.

NEEDS: Based on you response above, please specify which of the following resources, operations or expertise by Boehringer Ingelheim you imagine leveraging to actualize the proposed co-creation opportunity. Please check all that apply. (Hint: while financing is often critical to scale, we are also interested in understanding what other assets or expertise could be leveraged).

Distribution Channels, Relationships/New Contacts, Manufacturing, Marketing/Communications Support, Access to Capital.

EXPLANATION OF NEEDS: Please explain your choices in more detail.

FullSoul needs help with researching and connecting with manufacturing and distribution channels of medical supplies in other developing countries to keep costs of the kits as low as possible during expansion across Africa. FullSoul struggles with marketing its brand to raise the funds it needs to purchase and deliver the medical kits. FullSoul needs to learn how to use our brand to better facilitate innovations in funding models. Finally, FullSoul would leverage the contacts that Boehringer Ingelheim has in the developing world to begin educating hospital administrators about FullSoul kits.

OFFER: What are the main assets you may contribute in a co-creation partnership with Boehringer Ingelheim that would better serve unmet needs in health?

Deep understanding of an unmet need in a specific market/context, Access to and established trust with customers/beneficiaries, Insights into pricing and financing of health products/services, Insights into behavior change.

FOCUS AREAS: Which of the following best describes the main focus of your project? (select all that apply)

Improving the affordability of healthcare (e.g., microinsurance, reducing the economic cost of care), Remote care solutions for health management, treatment, and diagnosis.

Please share what your organisation and Boehringer Ingelheim will Co-Create together
Please specify what your Co-Creation will result in:

If you selected "other" above, please explain:
Please provide a 1-2 sentence summary of your Co-Creation idea
How does this project link to the core mission of your organisation?
Beyond social impact, how does this project link to Boehringer Ingelheim’s core business?
What are the specific inputs and actions that each side will contribute to this Co-Creation idea based on each of your unique competencies and experiences?
Please describe the potential revenue model for this Co-Creation idea.
What possible risks or challenges do you foresee?
Is there anything else you would like to share about your Co-Creation idea?
How much input do you hope to receive from Boehringer Ingelheim?

If you selected "other" above, please explain:
Besides Boehringer Ingelheim, what other types of partners might be valuable to carrying out your Co-Creation idea, and why?