Almost 300 birthing kits were assembled to be distributed to various developing countries through the Birthing Kit Foundation Australia by the Zonta Club of Goulburn, with the help of local volunteers, on Saturday, December 15.
Birthing kits are a simple and effective tool for basic infection prevention and first-line childbirth care.
The components are selected in line with global best practice and consist only of the essential items required to support the documented six principles of cleanliness at birth for mothers in high-risk and emergency settings.
Each kit contains six disposable components:
- Soap to wash the birth attendant’s hands and the mother’s perineum
- Plastic Sheet to prevent the mother and newborn coming into contact with the ground or an unhygienic surface
- Gloves to cover the birth attendant’s hands and provide protection from infections such as HIV for carers and care recipients
- Gauze to wipe clear the newborn baby’s eyes, and to clean the mother’s perineum prior to giving birth
- Cord ties to cleanly tie the umbilical cord
- Sterile blade to cut the umbilical cord and reduce risk of newborn tetanus and sepsis
There is evidence from around the world demonstrating that these kits prevent childbirth-related infections and also act to improve health outcomes for mothers and babies by removing barriers and supporting mothers to access health services.
In many low-resource settings health facilities are not adequately equipped with clean supplies so kits can also be used to resource and improve the basic cleanliness of these environments.
Zonta International envisions a world in which women’s rights are recognised as human rights and every woman is able to achieve her full potential.
Founded in 1919 its early members were the first generation of women to vote or go to university. Zonta remains a leading global organisation of professionals empowering women through service and advocacy, with 30,000 members and 1200 clubs in 67 countries.