Items that fit into a sandwich bag can save thousands of mothers’ lives every year. Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it?
The Clean Delivery Kit has:
- A clean plastic liner to put on the ground so the mother doesn’t deliver directly onto the dirt;
- A pair of disposable gloves;
- A clean razor blade and string for tying and cutting the umbilical cord;
- Soap for a thorough washing before and after the birth.
A pictorial instruction sheet is included as a reminder of the information about the birth process and how to use the materials in the kit.
For centuries, a clean birth has been recognized as essential to the health and survival of both mothers and children. When babies are delivered in unsanitary conditions and without proper care, an otherwise healthy child can be at risk for getting an infection and possibly even death. According to the World Health Organization, nearly one million babies die from infection each year.
The Seven Cleans of Birthing
The items in the Clean Delivery Kit help to provide a clean environment for the birth. In fact, it provides what is called The Seven Cleans:
1. Clean Birth Site — prevents delivery directly on the floor.
2. Clean Hands — prevents the birth attendant from transmitting germs to mother and baby.
3. Clean Ties — prevents bleeding from the umbilical cord for mother and baby.
4. Clean Razor — reduces infection caused by other implements.
5. Clean Gauze — wipes away birth canal secretions from the baby’s eyes, which decreases the probability of future eye infections.
6. Clean Umbilical Cord — prevents infection by washing and drying the stumps.
7. Clean Perineum
For this reason, the United Nations Population Fund and numerous aid organizations are distributing clean delivery kits in the developing world, including in conflict or humanitarian emergencies. Babies come into this world regardless of war or natural disasters. They also do not concern themselves with the availability of a skilled health care provider or the environment into which they are born. These simple steps can help save the lives of numerous mothers and newborns.
Help for Home Births
Most births in rural areas of developing countries take place at home, often without medical assistance. In these settings, the Clean Delivery Kit can reduce maternal and child mortality. The kits are distributed for free. Money to purchase the kits is the only obstacle to increasing its availability.
Helping Mothers to Thrive
The more women who safely deliver their babies and the more women who avoid infection during childbirth; the more women there will be who can help their sisters or neighbors or daughters to have safe births as well.
The Clean Delivery Kit begins a cycle of health and well-being that stretches much farther than the home it is used in. When women thrive, all of society benefits.
Please help us provide Clean Delivery Kits to mothers in need by donating to Worldwide Healing Hands.
by Dr. Paula Dhanda
Photo credit Nathan DeHart
Originally published at blog.everymothercounts.org.