The Boo Nsuba Health Center and Maternity in Kinshasa, the capital city of the Democratic Republic of Congo, is a bustling hub of activity. More than a dozen expectant mothers wait outside in the shade, chatting and laughing as they await their prenatal checkups.Inside, by contrast, the maternity ward is quiet and subdued as mothers rest and tend to their small bundles.Mafuta takes a break from nursing to show off her fourth child, a girl named Dorcas, two days old.Dorcas, like many babies born at Boo Nsuba, was born with the help of an IMA Safe Motherhood Kit™, a package of clean and sterile supplies designed to help prevent childbirth-related infection.Around the world, one of the leading causes of maternal death is infection, which the World Health Organization says accounts for about 11% of maternal deaths. Many of these infections are preventable with a just a few small precautions—including using the clean and sterile items found in a Safe Motherhood Kit™.The Boo Nsuba Health Center manages as many as 50 deliveries each month in its single delivery room, but the health center is often unable to obtain or provide all of the necessary supplies on its own. While it has easy access to sterile gloves and gauze, the health center relies on Safe Motherhood Kits™ to supply the rest of the items such as the sterile umbilical tie, the plastic sheet—which creates a barrier to help prevent contamination—and the soap and washcloth.The nurses at Boo Nsuba say they love receiving shipments of Safe Motherhood Kits™ and use them for every birth.Meanwhile Mama Mafuta, tired but happy that she and her baby are doing well, is eager go home, introduce Dorcas to the rest of her family and get settled back into her day-to-day routine.
On May 3, IMA celebrated one of our favorite days of the year: SMK Day. The warehouse in New Windsor was abuzz with volunteers of all ages who wanted to spend their Saturday making a difference.
Over 100 volunteers assembled and boxed 2,800 Safe Motherhood Kits™, preparing them for shipment all over the world. After the volunteers reached their assembly goal, they helped count baby blankets, fold plastic sheets and prepare leftover supplies for the next SMK Day.
At 9:30, the assembly lines paused while IMA honored Pat Amass, the “Mama of the Safe Motherhood Kit™,” who passed away on April 28. Pat, a member of the Rotary Club of Bonds Meadow, approached IMA with the idea for the Safe Motherhood Kit™ in 2007. Since then, thousands of kits have been purchased, assembled and sent to Haiti, South Sudan, DR Congo, Pakistan and many other countries throughout the world.
“I know that Pat is here with us in spirit,” said Rick Santos, President of IMA World Health, following a prayer and moment of silence in her memory. IMA presented the Rotary Club with a plaque in honor of Pat’s vision and partnership, and several members of the club made remarks about her dedication to the project.
IMA would like to thank all of our volunteers for their energy and support, as well as our SMK Day sponsors including New Windsor State Bank, the Rotary Club of Bonds Meadow, WTTR and Westminster United Methodist Church. Additional sponsors included BB&T Bank, Graphcom, Kohn Creative, Performance Food Service, and MTS Travel.
Thank you so much for all your past support. This will be the final report for IMA World Health’s Help Cure Children with Cancer in Tanzania project on Global Giving. IMA will continue this program and continue to raise funds for our cervical cancer prevention and treatment program through our website. Burkitt’s Lymphoma (BL) is a common childhood cancer most often affecting those living in high malaria prevalent areas. BL is a fast growing fatal tumor unless diagnosed and treated appropriately. Currently, IMA works with nearly 20 faith-based and public sector health care facilities to provide proper BL diagnosis and treatment. IMA has a longstanding partnership with Ocean Road Cancer Institute to build capacity of health care facilities through training of health care providers (clinicians, nurses, laboratory, pharmacy staff, and students) on BL diagnosis and case management. To date, IMA has trained over 2,000 health care providers in BL diagnosis and treatment and treated over 4,500 children in 12 regions. In 2009, IMA also facilitated the development of the Burkitt’s Lymphoma National Treatment Guidelines - the first cancer guidelines to be published in the country.Thank you for all your past support. We could not provide the services we have provided over the past few years without your support. You have truly made a difference in the lives of children in need of diagnosis and treatment of Burkitt’s Lymphoma (BL). If you would like to continue to follow or support our work on cervical cancer please visit our website and our Facebook page (links found below). If you would like to continue to support an IMA World Health project through Global Giving please check out our Safe Motherhood Kit project. Again, thank you for all your past support!