Children
 Haiti
Project #7094

Provide a Safe Motherhood Kit

by IMA World Health
Warehouse Kit Assembly
Warehouse Kit Assembly

IMA’s “SMK Day” Exceeds Goal

smk 460 2013

On Saturday, April 27th, more than 150 people gathered at the warehouse at IMA World Health’s headquarters in New Windsor, Maryland, to volunteer for “SMK Day 2013.” The goal was to pack 4,000 Safe Motherhood Kits™ (SMKs) in four hours. 

For more photos from "SMK Day 2013" visit our Facebook page!

After a fast-paced morning working in shifts, the volunteers easily surpassed the goal, packing more than 4,300 SMKs with essential clean and sterile birthing supplies. These items  included a plastic sheet, an absorbent underpad, surgical gloves, gauze pads, a sterile umbilical tie and scalpel, soap, a washcloth and a baby layette. This set of simple but essential items help to prevent maternal infection and support maternal and newborn child health in developing countries and disaster zones.

When SMK Day assembly lines reached capacity, other volunteers got busy cutting plastic sheeting to size, folding baby blankets and preparing boxes of SMKs for shipment around the world.

In the past year, more than 13,000 SMKs were distributed to IMA partner clinics in Haiti, DR Congo and South Sudan to help reduce maternal mortality.

“What a great group of volunteers,” said Rick Santos, President and CEO of IMA World Health. “We had high schoolers, Rotarians, Kiwanians, local business owners, college students, churches, health care workers  and many others – such a diverse group of caring people, all working together to help people in need. We were encouraged by the turnout and the dedication of the community rallying around this project.”

A special thanks to sponsors and volunteers for joining together to make a great impact for expectant mothers and their babies! IMA is already looking forward to next year’s SMK Day.

Kit Assembly
Kit Assembly

Links:

According to the World Health Organization, for every woman who dies in childbirth, 20 more suffer injury, infection or disease. Recently, IMA World Health continued its commitment to providing clean and sterile birthing supplies to expectant mothers in areas where infant and maternal mortality rates are among the highest in the world.

More than 3500 Safe Motherhood Kits™ have arrived in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo to be distributed through IMA World Health partners American Baptist Churches and the Presbyterian Church (USA).

IMA believes that every woman and child deserves a safe and healthy birth. Each Safe Motherhood Kit™ contains essential clean and sterile supplies including gloves, umbilical tie, scalpel, gauze pads, plastic sheeting, bar of soap, washcloth and baby supplies (a hat, tunic and blanket). IMA also provides education on safe birthing procedures and training on the proper use of a Safe Motherhood Kit™ to ensure the safest birth possible.

One $25 donation provides an entire Safe Motherhood Kit™ to an expectant mother, from the materials and packaging to shipping, delivery and training. Think of it—a $25 donation may be a matter of life and death for a mother and her baby.

Packing Kits
Packing Kits

More than 100 people recently gathered at the warehouse at IMA World Health’s headquarters in New Windsor, Maryland, to volunteer IMA’s first “SMK Day” event. The goal was to pack 3,000 Safe Motherhood Kits™ or SMKs in three hours.

After a fast-paced morning working in shifts in an assembly line, the volunteers easily surpassed the goal, packing more than 3,500 SMKs with essential clean and sterile supplies for a safer childbirth.

Supplies for these kits were made possible by indvidual donors and local business leaders. 

For more photos from SMK DAY at IMA visit our Facebook page!

These items included a plastic sheet, an absorbent underpad, surgical gloves, gauze pads, a sterile umbilical tie and scalpel, soap, a washcloth and a baby layette. This set of simple but essential items in developing countries and disaster zones to help to prevent maternal infection and support maternal and newborn child health.

When the assembly lines reached capacity, other volunteers cut plastic sheeting to size, folded baby blankets and prepared boxes of SMKs for shipment. In the past year, more than 13,000 SMKs were distributed to IMA partner clinics in Haiti,DR Congo and South Sudan to help reduce maternal mortality.

SMK Day volunteers ranged in age and background, with our youngest “volunteer” sleeping in an infant carrier on his mother’s chest. Local Soroptimist, Kiwanis and Rotary clubs sent representatives, and many local churches and schools were also represented. Some came from as far as Villanova University located outside Philadelphia, PA, and groups also came from McDaniel College, Gettysburg College and Frederick Community College.

“I am very pleased with how the local community rallied together to support this important project,” said Rick Santos, President and CEO of IMA World Health. “It was exciting to see such a diverse and eager group taking time out of their Saturday to serve others in need. Everyone was really bustling and working hard, and the best part is that thousands of people will benefit from these Safe Motherhood Kits™.”

A special thanks to donors and volunteers for joining together to make a great impact for expectant mothers and their babies! IMA is already looking forward to the next SMK Day in late spring.

Safe Motherhood Kits Juba
Safe Motherhood Kits Juba

Thirteen South Sudanese health workers have returned home with the training to save the lives of women and children in their community.

South Sudan has one of the highest maternal and child mortality rates in the world, so IMA World Health joined forces with the local Ministry of Health to address significant health-care issues in the country. The Emergency Obstetrical Care (EmOC) program was formed to give health care trainees the education to help pregnant women and their newborns before, after and during labor.

Roughly 90% of women deliver unassisted without trained personnel. As you can imagine, the slightest complication can prove fatal. Thus, the program was born and the Safe Motherhood Kit™ is an important complement to the work being done.

Recognizing the urgency of the medical crisis in South Sudan, IMA World Health and the Great Lakes University of Kisumu in Kenya obtained funding from the US Office for Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) to train South Sudanese clinical officers in an intensive course on emergency obstetric care.

The nine-month course taught the critical knowledge and skills necessary for safe vaginal delivery, management of post-partum hemorrhage, treatment of toxemia and other critical interventions for saving lives and welcoming new life into the world.

“(Women) need mosquito nets and Safe Motherhood Kits™ to protect them and their babies. If they have the kit, there will be clean, sterile materials, which will prevent disease and infection,” said Ojuok Puok Duel, EmOC graduate.

While the students studied, five centers (where the graduates will work) were renovated and equipped with ultrasound machines, solar lighting, supplies, and more than 5000 Safe Motherhood Kits™ .

After spending nearly a year away from their community the students were ready to return home and start using their new skills.

“IMA should be proud. Just wait and see what happens!  We are very motivated to go back and help our communities,” said Gatwech Kun Chol, EmOC graduate.

Packing the Container in New Windsor, MD
Packing the Container in New Windsor, MD

After a devastating earthquake hit Port au Prince in 2010 IMA World Health made a long-term commitment to help the people of Haiti as they rebuild their country.

IMA was positioned to do this because of an existing network of partners and volunteers developed after opening its first office in Haiti in 2008.

Through this network IMA has sent a steady supply of medicines and supplies to support hospitals and clinics across the country.

In April, IMA delivered a shipment worth more than $775,000 to Haiti – ready to be distributed.  It contained  3675 Safe Motherhood Kits ™ provide by individual donors from Global Giving and imaworldhealth.org. Also included in the shipment were 100 IMA Medicine Boxes purchased by the United Methodist Committee on Relief, 6,000 Health Kits donated by Church World Service, and other medicine essential to further local programs.

The shipment will be divided among the following hospitals:

Hospital Justinien, Hospital Albert Schweitzer, Hospital Grande Riv du Nord, Hospital Ste. Croix, Hospital Bienfaisance de Pignon, Hospital St. Nicolas, Hospital Armee du Salute, Hospital St. Michel de Jacmel, Hospital HIC- Sud Dept and Hospital HIC-Nord Ouest Dept.

 

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Organization Information

IMA World Health

Location: New Windsor, MD - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.imaworldhealth.org
IMA World Health
Project Leader:
Christopher Glass
New Windsor, MD United States

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