Help Women in Remote Regions have Healthy Babies

by Birthing Kit Foundation (Australia)
Vetted
Women with Birthing Kits
Women with Birthing Kits

Karel,  a long term friend and supporter of BKFA, has recently visited Uganda where she spent a week with BKFA field partners, the Rotary of Makindye.

She says:

“In one word it was inspiring.  Their commitment to serving the community, as well as the resources and passion they bring to making the world a better place is beyond impressive.

I was able to meet with the leadership and members of Rotary of Makindye to discuss the Birthing Kit and their very effective distribution. We spent two days travelling throughout rural areas meeting with women’s education projects and entrepreneurial ventures.  What is truly impressive as a public health initiative is that the Birthing Kit initiative is value-added into existing community programs where women are in leadership positions, are empowered and are mutually supportive.  The members of Rotary of Makindye are not outsiders; they are partners with these grass roots community groups and therefore respected and trusted.  The distribution of the kits is effectively interwoven into these community groups.  I could not imagine a more effective model for health status change on both a community and individual level.x

I cannot speak more highly of any group than Rotary of Makindye.  You can be assured that the kits donated by BFKA are part of dedicated and caring commitment to serve humanity and make the world a better place especially for women and children”

BKFA is thrilled to receive such positive feebdack from the field.

Recipients of Birthing Kits, Peach Aid, Nigeria
Recipients of Birthing Kits, Peach Aid, Nigeria

BKFA partner, Peach Aid (Nigeria) reports ‘good changes’ as kits are received and health workers are trained

600 kits were provided by BKFA in support of communities in the Anambra and Ebonyi states, Nigeria. These were distributed to primary health care centres where training was provided. Peach Aid reports fewer childbirth related infections in both beneficiary communities and successful training in the use of the birthing kits. But, there is still work to be done. Women are more willing to deliver in the health facilities now than ever, but many still give birth at home. Peach Aid hopes that in time, more women will present at health facilities to ensure a better chance of a safe and clean birth.

We hear from one young mother, how the birthing kit helped her to deliver safely.

“My name is Nnenna. My mother is a traditional birth attendant. When I received the birthing kit from Peach Aid because I was pregnant, I decided to go and deliver in the health facility so that I can use what they gave me. The day I started labour, even though my mother did not like my plan, my friend took me to our health facility and they went and called the nurse. She came and I gave her my birthing kit. I saw when she used everything inside it to help me deliver my baby girl. She tied the rope in the cord before she cut it, she was wearing the hand-gloves too and she used the black bag to lay for me to lie down before I started giving birth. I like the feeling because I was using something from overseas to give birth. I was not afraid because I know what is inside the birthing kit will not allow me to die. I thank Peach Aid for helping us. My baby is happy too”

Women like Nnenna can have the opportunity of a clean and safe childbirth, if a Birthing Kit is available to them.  For just $3, BKFA can provide one kit.  Without the support of our donors, our work cannot be done.  Thank you for supporting BKFA

Links:

Expectant Mother receives a birthing kit
Expectant Mother receives a birthing kit

Uganda Australia Christian Outreach reports on positive impact thanks to Birthing Kits!

A recent report received from one of BKFA’s partners, Uganda Australia Christian Outreach makes for positive reading.

The organisation summarises that further to the receipt of Birthing Kits, midwives are sent to each region where they train traditional birth attendants (TBAs) on the importance and use of the Birthing Kit. Here, they emphasise the necessity of opening the kit at the time of birth for sterility and ensure that the importance of the use of gloves and soap is communicated, given the high prevalence of HIV and hepatitis B. With the increased number of trained TBAs in rural areas, more women have access to support with a Birthing Kit during delivery.

Positive Change!

With the introduction of Birthing Kits, particularly in very hard to reach areas, habits such as biting the umbilical cord (which was spreading infections such as HIV and hepatitis) have greatly reduced. The incidence of tetanus and eye infections have also lessened. And, with traditional birth attendants in rural areas and midwives in clinics using Birthing Kits, excessive bleeding at birth has also reduced.

After the baby is born, mothers are encouraged to attend postnatal visits where an examination is made for infection.   And to date, those midwives and TBAs supplied with kits have not yet reported cases of infections. Uganda Australia Christian Outreach says that midwives, TBAs and the mothers are very grateful. There has been a notable reduction in maternal and child mortality rates and traditional birth attendants have been trained with improved skills for delivery of babies.

The Birthing Kit is a simple yet effective intervention, and costs just $3. Without funding, essential and life changing work like this simply can’t be completed. Your donation to BKFA helps to buy Birthing Kits and fund important training programs. To donate, please click here.

Thank you so much for your support.

Links:

Traditional birth attendants receive training
Traditional birth attendants receive training

Managed by the Society for Women’s Education and Awareness Development (SWEAD), India, a significant training program funded by BKFA was recently completed.

The overall goal of the training was to help reduce the number of child and maternal deaths through improved delivery and child care practices. This was addressed by improving the skills of Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs), teaching TBAs to perform deliveries more safely with the use of the Birthing Kit, discouraging harmful practices, recognising danger signs and referring women with complications to facilities where essential obstetric care is available. Equipping TBAs with the skills required to assist women with complications during childbirth can go a long way in ensuring the survival of the mother and newborn.

For the low-caste and very poor women of the community, health services are unaffordable, or simply not available. SWEAD has been working with BKFA for the past 5 years to improve the conditions for birthing mothers, to educate birth attendants and to raise awareness of birthing issues in the wider community. This particular program, which took place in 2015 and 2016 sought to provide training to Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs), volunteers, husbands, caretakers and adolescent girls in over 100 villages of the Cuddalore district of Tamilnadu State in India.

It’s not always easy. Many parents and community leaders think that training for young girls is sex education and will encourage promiscuous and irresponsible behaviour. In truth, adolescent girls must have proper knowledge of adolescent health in order to allow them to become healthy, productive and responsible adults.  

SWEAD report that despite some of the barriers, the training program was successfully completed, reaching hundreds. Around 250 TBAs completed the training with collective feedback demonstrating how invaluable they feel to the remote rural societies in which they live and work – filling a critical gap and helping to save lives.

Without funding, essential and life changing work like this simply can’t be completed. Your donation to BKFA helps to buy Birthing Kits and fund important training programs like this.

Thank you for your support.

Traditional birth attendants receive training
Traditional birth attendants receive training

Links:

We are so pleased to share the story of Janeth from Tanzania, who delivered her son, Joshua, with the use of a Birthing Kit.

On 26 December 2015, Janeth was taken to hospital having gone into labour nearly two months before her due date.

Whilst Janeth was fortunate to reach a hospital, had she not previously received a Birthing Kit, the outcome may have been quite different.  Many hospitals simply don’t provide the simple essentials for a safe, clean birth with women expected to supply these items themselves.  At worst, labouring women are turned away, left to deliver alone or at home.

The midwife asked if she had a birthing kit. She did. It had been given to her by Hurumia Watoto, a small organisation in Northern Tanzania dedicated to improving the health of women and girls. This group had distributed kits provided by Birthing Kit Foundation (Australia).

With the help of the Birthing Kit, Janeth delivered a healthy baby boy.

Janeth says:

“At first I feared that the kit would not be enough and I asked for two on the day of distribution. But one kit was enough and I kept one which I plan to give to my friend who is pregnant. Many women need your help here in Tanzania because many cannot afford to buy the list of materials hospitals suggest – and this leads to many women having unsafe deliveries”.

Hurumia Watoto, based in Northern Tanzania are a partner of Birthing Kit Foundation (Australia). If you would like to support our work, please make a donation here.

Just $3 pays for one Birthing Kit. Just $3 can help a baby like Joshua arrive safely into this world.

 

 

 

 

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Organization Information

Birthing Kit Foundation (Australia)

Location: Belair, SA - Australia
Website: http:/​/​www.bkfa.org.au
Project Leader:
Fiona Smith
Executive Director
Belair, SA Australia
$23,057 raised of $40,000 goal
 
395 donations
$16,943 to go
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