UTS Midwifery students send birthing kits around the world
- UTS Midwifery students recently assembled over 200 birthing kits in celebration of International Day of the Midwife
- The kits will be distributed to women in low-resource areas by the Birthing Kit Foundation, Australia
To commemorate the International Day of the Midwife [opens external site], recognised annually on 5 May, midwifery students and lecturers at the University of Technology Sydney held two Assembly Days for the Birthing Kit Foundation, Australia (BKFA).
BKFA is an Australian-based not-for-profit organisation dedicated to the elimination of preventable maternal and newborn mortality and morbidity. Among their initiatives is Assembly Day, a charity event for preparing birthing kits.
“The assembly day was a fun way to celebrate the International Day of the Midwife, and to make a difference for women in low-resource settings where health facilities are not adequately equipped with clean supplies for birth,” says Dr Allison Cummins, senior lecturer in midwifery.
Each kit contains six disposable components:
- Soap, to wash the birth attendant’s hands and the mother’s perineum
- A 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
- A sterile blade, to cut the umbilical cord and reduce risk of newborn tetanus and sepsis.
These kits, though simple in nature, make a difference for women in areas where health facilities are not adequately equipped with clean supplies for birth. They prevent childbirth-related infections and also act to improve health outcomes for mothers and newborns (WHO 2015).
The kits will be sent to multiple countries in Asia, Africa, The Pacific and The Caribbean.
Thank you to all the students for their enthusiastic participation, and Happy International Day of the Midwife from the Faculty of Health!
For more information about BKFA, please visit their website [opens external site].
Source: World Health Organization 2015, Pregnancy, Childbirth, Postpartum and Newborn Care: A guide for essential practice, 3rd edition, WHO Press, Luxembourg.