Originally posted on TED Blog:

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By Courtney E. Martin & John Cary

Pregnancy is supposed to be about life. And yet, every day, 800 women across the globe die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. In Malawi, which has one of the worst maternal mortality rates in the world, a shocking 1 in 36 pregnant women die rather than become proud mothers.

But could this oversized problem be tackled through design? Malawi’s new president, Joyce Banda, certainly believes so.

More and more, global health experts are teaming up with designers to tackle daunting challenges like food scarcity, water contamination and, yes, maternal mortality — be they environmental, product, or systems design challenges. [ted_talkteaser id=122] Using what IDEO.org calls “human-centered design” — essentially putting the user at the center of a deeply iterative process — some of the most cutting-edge thinkers in public health are seeing old problems in new ways. Design is no…

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