Many moons ago I travelled (in parts, courtesy of a flatulent camel) through some very remote villages throughout India and Nepal. When I saw pregnant women or newborns, I remember wondering what the quality of maternity and newborn care was really like for these women in these parts of the world.
I soon discovered the awful fact that each day around the world, almost 800 mothers die from complications in pregnancy and childbirth. One third of the total global deaths are in two countries; India (50,000 per annum) and Nigeria (40,000 per annum).
Flash forward to 2015, and I/BodyWise BirthWise is a proud supporter of The Birthing Kit Foundation (Australia). This is a not-for-profit, non-government organisation dedicated to improving conditions for women who give birth at home in developing countries. Along with my yearly membership, for every woman I support across my range of services within our very privileged Australian maternity system, a donation is made to this invaluable cause.
Tragically 99% of all maternal deaths occur in developing countries and almost all of these deaths occurred in low-resource settings – and most could have been prevented. Many die from preventable infections acquired during childbirth.
Most of the women The Birthing Kit Foundation Australia (BKFA) assists are for reasons of isolation, cultural choice, poor transport means or have little or no assistance during childbirth. By providing a clean birthing kit these mothers will have the resources to reduce infection.
BKFA 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 6 principles of cleanliness at birth for mothers in high-risk and emergency settings.
These kits are assembled by volunteers in Australia.
BKFA aims to promote sustainable change, fund midwifery training programs to educate birth attendants and to empower these women through education.
BKFA marks field partnerships with over 40 organisations, in around 20 countries and distributes around 200,000 kits annually. Plans are underway for the implementation of two collaborative maternal health projects in 2018, with partners in Ethiopia and Uganda.
In total, over 1.65 million kits have been provided to women in developing countries and the role being played by simple interventions such as Birthing Kits is internationally recognised by the World Health Organisation.
With the ongoing goal of addressing the problem of maternal and infant mortality, BKFA looks to the future with ambitious targets and always with the clear vision; that there will one day be a world in which preventable maternal and newborn mortality and morbidity has been eliminated.
Every donation of just $5.00 has the potential to save the life of a mother and baby. The gift of safer births empowers women to take control of their futures and live safer, happier, more fulfilled lives. Click here to help too.