THE BIRTHING KIT PROJECT
The United Nations (WHO) estimated in 1996 that 585,000 women died annually in childbirth. Developing countries accounted for 99% of these deaths. For every woman who dies in childbirth, another 30 women incur injuries and infections – many of which are often painful, disabling, embarrassing and lifelong.
Ways recommended to help reduce these statistics are:
1. preventing unwanted pregnancies
2. improving antenatal care
3. improving capacity for dealing with obstetric complications
4. providing clean birthing conditions
ZONTA BIRTHING KITS provide for a clean birth that may decrease the risk of death from infection and bleeding.
60 million women give birth each year with the assistance of a Traditional Birth Attendant or no assistance at all. These women need a birthing kit.
Over 4000 traditional birth attendants and village health workers have been trained in hygiene, nutrition and midwifery through our funded training programs in Vietnam and Kenya!!
In Vietnam the first steps towards sustainability are happening with the Hanoi International Women’s Club paying USD$16,000 for 19,000 kits to be made in Hanoi to supply two provinces and AusCHAM paying USD$11,500 to pay for a training program in Binh Phuoc province.
HOW DO BIRTHING KITS WORK?
A Birthing Kit works by providing the 7 cleans for a clean birth:
- Clean birth site – preventing delivery onto the floor
- Clean hands – to prevent the birth attendant transmitting germs to mother and baby
- Clean ties – to prevent bleeding from the umbilical cord for mother and baby.
- Clean razor – to reduce infection caused by other implements
- Clean gauze – to wipe away birth canal secretions from the eyes, which decreases future eye infections
- Clean umbilical cord – washing and drying the stumps prevents infection
- Clean perineum
WHAT IS A BIRTHING KIT?
1m x 1m plastic sheet for the mother to lie on
A piece of soap
3 gauze squares
3 cord ties or 2 clamps
Sterile scalpel blade.
All contained in a small press seal plastic bag.
2013 – Our involvement in the Birthing Kit Project in 2013-14 was relatively low-key but we were happy to support the project as much as possible. A successful Birthing Kit Assembly Day was held on 1 June 2013 at the Burnside Community Centre. We assembled 400 kits, which were sent to the Uvira district, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Our club is planning a larger 1,000 kit Assembly Day in Just 2014 to support this important project