Help Women in Remote Regions have Healthy Babies

by Birthing Kit Foundation (Australia)
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Help Women in Remote Regions have Healthy Babies
Help Women in Remote Regions have Healthy Babies
Help Women in Remote Regions have Healthy Babies
Help Women in Remote Regions have Healthy Babies
Help Women in Remote Regions have Healthy Babies
Help Women in Remote Regions have Healthy Babies
Help Women in Remote Regions have Healthy Babies
Help Women in Remote Regions have Healthy Babies
Help Women in Remote Regions have Healthy Babies
Help Women in Remote Regions have Healthy Babies
Help Women in Remote Regions have Healthy Babies
Help Women in Remote Regions have Healthy Babies
Help Women in Remote Regions have Healthy Babies
Sophie, Maternal Health Educator & Midwife, Uganda
Sophie, Maternal Health Educator & Midwife, Uganda

During the COVID-19 pandemic period, mothers in Uganda have been greatly affected, transportation services have declined and the number of women who have been accessing healthcare has reduced.  Prior to the ease of lockdown, women were experiencing a number of challenges, including facing harassment when trying to access health facilities.

Our Field Partner, S.O.U.L., has been running a hospital outreach program during this period, meeting with pregnant women and lactating mothers, encouraging them to access care during the early stages of pregnancy and the postnatal period. They also distribute birthing kits, face masks, prenatal vitamins and antimalarial soap to mothers throughout the community.

Sophie, a maternal health educator and midwife for S.O.U.L., pictured here, has “seen how critical it is to supply these materials and to make sure the mothers are given knowledge and protective gear which are important in providing care and protection to children.”

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Midwife Fiona demonstrates the clean birth kit
Midwife Fiona demonstrates the clean birth kit

In January 2020 a small team consisting of a GP, a Midwife / Registered Nurse, and a logistics person, conducted health clinics and mentoring of health care workers and volunteers in four villages of Oro Provence, Papua New Guinea.

Village Birth Assistants (VBA's) who had attended education sessions with the No Roads Health team the previous year, were encouraged to assist in the clinic which they willingly did.

Onsite education was conducted with the Community Health Workers (CHW’s) and the VBA’s to reinforce previous learnings and give them the opportunity for some one-on-one experience.

It also enabled the pregnant women attending the clinic to build rapport with the VBA’s as well as the CHW’s in their local community.

It was a fantastic experience for everyone involved and provided the opportunity to deliver better health outcomes for mothers and babies for the long-term.



Fiona does an antenatal check and mentors VBA's
Fiona does an antenatal check and mentors VBA's
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Joyful mothers and their newborns in Zimbabwe
Joyful mothers and their newborns in Zimbabwe

Our field partner, Aid for Africa Down Under (AFADU) are supporting women in Zimbabwe.

They provided us with this testimonial about the importance of birthing kits to ensure a healthy birth and reduce a pregnant mothers' financial burden.


"Living and working in this community as a local health care worker, I experience every day what it means to the local population to be assisted in this small but very important way. We are at a point where as a hospital we either don’t have the funds or can't receive the basic medicines like Paracetamol through lack of stock in the national pharmacy.

We sometimes run out of gloves or disinfection and are trying our best to treat the patients as best a we can.  Pregnant women have to travel to the next town, 3 hrs on a very bad dirt road by car, and have to get their own supplies and bring it to the hospital for the delivery.

Costs are enormous. To give you and idea: a teacher or /nurse earns about 300 bond dollar per month, whereas the transport itself with the bus currently costs about 80 Bond dollars to get to town and back, not taking into account the cost for material, medicines and food.

Now seeing that 95% of the population in this area are working as self-sustainable farmers, that are suffering due to a bad drought, people are not able to cover these costs.

When AFADU can provide women with the important materials for delivery (birthing kits) and distribute them free of charge is a blessing for each and every pregnant women and we are very grateful for that.”

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BKFA Field Partner, No Roads Health Team
BKFA Field Partner, No Roads Health Team

Over the past year, Birthing Kit Foundation Australia (BKFA) has been working in partnership with No Roads Health to distribute Birthing Kits throughout villages on the north-east coast of Papua New Guinea. The No Roads clinical health teams make trips throughout the country to run education sessions and distribute basic medical supplies to village birthing attendants and pregnant women who do not have access to health care centres.

One evening, whilst celebrating a successful trip in the Oro Province, a No Roads health team were approached by a villager who informed them that a young woman was in labour close by. The team, which included an obstetrician and a midwife, rushed off to the expectant mother, 23-year-old Alice, to assist with the birth. Equipped with a BKFA Birthing Kit, the obstetrician whipped on a pair of gloves and worked alongside her team, two local birthing attendants and the woman’s family to help her during labour and birth.  Just before midnight, Alice gave birth to a healthy baby girl who she named after the No Roads obstetrician.

“Thank you to BKFA for enabling us provide a safe and clean environment to allow this baby namesake to be born,” (Alice, new mum)

Pictured in this update is the newborn baby and her mother, Alice, enjoying some skin-to-skin time post-birth, and the new family with the No Roads Health team the next day.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank our generous donors for their ongoing support in ensuring that mothers like Alice living in remote communities can experience a safe and clean birth.

Alice from PNG bonding with her baby
Alice from PNG bonding with her baby

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Photo courtesy of On Call Africa
Photo courtesy of On Call Africa

Our field partner, On Call Africa, provides birthing kits to rural health facilities in Zambia. One of the local doctors recalls an experience from the field, when a mother went into labour during a kit distribution clinic.

We jumped into action – grabbing a birthing kit so we could line the floor of our vehicle with a plastic sheet. The birthing kit meant we also had some sterile gloves, a sterile blade to cut the cord and cord ties.  I was lucky enough to accompany the woman, her mother, the local nurse and our driver to try and get to the nearest health centre in time to deliver the baby.  After about 10 minutes of bumping along the road, the expectant mother quietly groaned… ‘I think I need to push!’

Now fully dilated with her waters about to break, we stopped the car. We opened up the back of the vehicle and quickly tried to get on gloves. The baby was well on her way now. Within a minute she was out, in the back of our vehicle!

Our volunteer doctor and nurse took care of the newborn and mum before dropping them back home.

We stood in front of her small mud hut; the baby was named after me! We washed down the car and then drove off back to our clinic.”

15 months later the doctor was reunited with the mother and her child. Happy and healthy, the pair were very grateful for the birthing kit that helped them on the first day!

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Organization Information

Birthing Kit Foundation (Australia)

Location: Belair, SA - Australia
Website:
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Project Leader:
Nicole Marshall
Belair, SA Australia
$30,102 raised of $40,000 goal
 
607 donations
$9,898 to go
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