Birthing Kit Foundation (Australia)

The BKFA works with organisations and communities to provide a clean birthing environment for women in developing countries in order to reduce the incidence of infant and maternal mortality. We respect peoples' dignity and values and work according to principles of basic human rights. We raise awareness, provide support and resources and act as a catalyst for the creation of birth attendant training programmes and community development projects.
Jun 12, 2014

"No mother should die while giving life"

Ugandan woman demonstrating
Ugandan woman demonstrating

Thank you for once again making your donation count

 “No mother should die while giving life”

 The health system in many developing countries does not have the capacity to look after their women in childbirth, especially in the remote communities. It is here that the BKFA provides the resources and knowledge to assist birthing mothers with good maternal health care.

 Working in partnership with the Rotary club of Makindye, within the communities of Kinu, Namwendwa, Nagongera, Pokongo, Nakwasi, Kabila, NKunyu and Kasangate, the BKFA enabled 3,200 birthing kits to be distributed and 8 Outreach trainings to be conducted for Traditional Birth Attendants.

 The BKFA has developed excellent working relationships with Ms. Karel Rose Amaranth co- founder of Holistic Care for Mothers and the Rotary club of Makindye to achieve the wonderful outcomes within these 8 communities.

Uganda is the same as many other countries, where Dr Sarah Nkonge, a Ugandan doctor from a small community notes “with all challenges faced by rural women in attaining healthcare, the crumbling state for most of village health facilities, gender inequality, sexual violence, child marriages, high levels of abortions and birth rates, limited use of contraceptives as well as poverty and ignorance all display the true challenges for grass root communities.”

  “I am keenly aware of the saddest tragedy of losing a mother during child birth with staggering and painful consequences. If we can all support a safe-birth, we’re one step closer to ensuring healthy and economically secure families and communities” said Paramount Tribal Leader John Balikowa IV of Bakubembo Traditional Area on the Eastern Region of Uganda who supported all the initiatives of this program.

 It is in these communities that your donations make a difference. Our partners believe that “birthing kits help to prevent tetanus, sepsis, HIV, infant eye infection and the low immunity, when used properly, the provision of birthing kits encourages more mothers giving birth in hospitals and a reduction in maternal and child mortality.” The kit along with training is such a cost effective way to impact on women and babies lives.

Rotary Club of Makindye distributing kits
Rotary Club of Makindye distributing kits

Links:

Feb 14, 2014

Delivering babies in remote Ethiopia

Tigray Mother and Child
Tigray Mother and Child

To have a baby in Tigray Province is a wonderful moment for the birth of a child, but can also be a time of trepidation as it can be very difficult and dangerous without health services available. Without birthing kits women and babies are at risk of dying from simple infections like tetanus, but also the transmission of HIV is a very big issue.

Tigray Province in north western Ethiopia is very remote.  In the wet season roads are cut and planes cannot land.  What could be done to help the thousands of women in this inaccessible region who give birth at home? 

The Birthing Kit Foundation (Australia) started working with Abrahams Oasis delivering birthing kits to help these women.  Every kit was “More valuable than gold” according to Ruth Kennedy a Director of Abrahams Oasis. It could save a life or prevent infection in this part of the world where medical help of any kind is rare. 

The Birthing Kit Foundation supplied as many kits as possible but even this had its problems. Kits were held up at customs and nothing could be delivered in the wet season. The demand for this simple tool expanded too. Women started asking for ‘Kit Deliveries’ even in health facilities where cleanliness is far from ideal. 

The solution, devised between Abrahams Oasis and the Birthing Kit Foundation (Australia), was for them to manufacture their own kits.  Local women are employed in this project learning skills and earning much needed funds to help their families. Local production creates a consistent supply of kits throughout the year and now Abrahams Oasis can get the kits further into the remote areas of Tigray. 

Abrahams Oasis has distributed clean delivery kits since 2010 and is now implementing local assembly of 15,000 kits. Thousands of deliveries are still done in homes and their goal is for each home delivery to be done on a clean sheet with gloves and clean gauze. In this way the work of Health Professionals at all levels is strengthened with a very basic but life-saving tool. The Clean Delivery Kits contain a large plastic sheet, soap, cord ties, razor blade, gauze and gloves.

Donations can ensure that this project is maintained and the supply of Clean Delivery Kits is maintained.  Every US$50 means another 30 women have the chance of a clean birth free of infection  and healthy baby.

Links:

Nov 12, 2013

A village's first Birth Training program empowers!

"Dalit" family of Dingigul District, Tamilnadu
"Dalit" family of Dingigul District, Tamilnadu

“You are the first people who have taught us anything in our lives” they said and they pleaded for more.

The Dalits are the “outcastes” of Hindu society. As a result, Dalits were commonly segregated, and banned from full participation in Hindu social life. 

In October 2013 we evaluated the maternal health training programs for the Traditional Birth attendants and community awareness in Tamilnadu State of India.

Working with local NGO the Centre for Social Action, Women’s Education and Development (SAWED) in  Dingigul Districts of Tamilnadu state, India, we held 2 day midwifery training for 200 Traditional Birth Attendants (TBA), Tribal and Dalit women. Many women deliver at home with no assistance except for a previously untrained Traditional Birth Attendant.

SAWED gains trust in a new community by completing some kind of service project such as putting an electricity line to a small village.  Winning trust in this way means the locals are more welcoming and accepting when training programmes are introduced.  

The training programmes were well received in these communities. The older women, who are the Traditional Birth Attendants, have never received any form of education in their lives. “You are the first people who have taught us anything in our lives,” they said and they pleaded for more. 

The evaluators' commented that the local community are hungry and desperate to rise from the depressed and disadvantaged position they are in and for these people the SAWED organisation are the only people hearing them.

For another NGO Society for Women's Education Awareness Development (SWEAD) in a different area of Tamilnadu state, India, they ran 25 Awareness raising meetings to benefit the community as well as the midwifery training programs.

The awareness raising meetings dramatically touched the men.  At a meeting with our evaluators, two men stood up to share their experiences. Once understanding more deeply their issues one had stopped drinking and smoking and another had stopped violence towards his wife.

SWEAD said they also wanted to run training in 'adolescent management' and training for girls in reproductive health and preparation for motherhood. 

Our evaluators said this was one of the most successful programs they had observed recently with a very strong impact for the whole community.

We have received a new proposal from SAWED to continue our work here and would be very grateful of your support to fund this great work. For more information about Birthing Kit Foundation go to www.bkfa.org.au 

Traditional Birth Attendants, Dinigigul
Traditional Birth Attendants, Dinigigul

Links:

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