Kenya Partner Ministries Birthing Kits
Country of Operation
- Maua Methodist HospitalNot-for-profit
Target income level
- Bottom 20%
SummaryBirthing Kits are simple kits containing essential items to promote a safe, clean delivery and to encourage good aftercare. The components of the kit are meant to improve hygienic birth practices following the World Health Organization’s (WHO) principles for clean delivery and cord care.
Each year more than 600,000 women die in Africa from complications during pregnancy and childbirth and approximately 9 million infant deaths occur each year. Of these, over half occur during the first four weeks after birth, and more than one third occur within the first week of life. Tetanus and other infections are among theleading causes of newborn mortality. Infants with neonatal tetanus often have concomitant cord infection caused by unclean delivery or unclean cord care practices. For this reason, birthing kits come in handy to improve and promote safe and hygienic conditions during child birth.
Key program components
Sixty million women (approximately ½ of all births in developing countries) give birth with the help of an untrained traditional birth attendant (TBA) or family member or with no help at all each year. A simple solution to unclean deliveries is the use of Birthing Kits, which can be incorporated into the training of TBAs. Birthing Kits are distributed to health care providers in rural Maua, Kenya and given to mothers‐to‐be when they visit the Ndoleli Clinic, which is about 20 miles from the nearest hospital. The kits are valued at approximately $9 each, and the contents are based on research and field trials. Kits will be packed by Kenyan women’s groups and distributed through the Maua Methodist Hospital who will also provide education on how to use them correctly. The kits include: * 1 hotel‐size bar of soap (1 oz. and up)—to clean the birth attendants hands both before delivery and prior to cutting the umbilical cord, and to clean the mother’s perineum. Soap enhances clean practices by motivating hand washing. * 1 pair of clean latex gloves—to reduce disease transmission * 1 square yard of clear 4 mil plastic sheeting—to provide a clean surface on which to deliver the baby * 3 pieces of clean string each 12” long — to tie off the umbilical cord * 1 clean single use razor blade—essential for clean cutting of the cord * 2 flannelette receiving blankets, each 1 yard —one to dry and stimulate the baby, and one to swaddle the baby – even in tropical climates babies quickly lose body heat * 1 bulb syringe, 2 oz. — to remove fluids from baby’s nostrils and mouth. * 1 peri bottle for mother’s post delivery hygiene * 1 infant hat — to retain the baby’s body heat * 1 candle and a pack of matches — to assist with night time deliveries * One‐gallon plastic bag—to package the kit and to be used to hold the placenta ready for safe disposal