Mothers in regional communities across Africa and Asia will be better supported thanks to the work of the Zonta Club of Geelong.
The club recently held its annual birthing kit assembly day, where volunteers assembled 1000 kits, made up of a biodegradable plastic sheet, soap, a pair of gloves, a sterile scalpel blade, three pieces of cord and five gauze squares, for new parents in Third World countries.
Service and advocacy committee member Chris Denmead said the kits were designed to reduce the rate of infection and deaths during childbirth.
“We put these kits together and send them on to the Birthing Kit Foundation in Adelaide, who distribute them across the world,” she said.
“In smaller villages where there isn’t access to medical care, these kits help reduce infections and deaths of both children and mothers during childbirth.
“We’ve been doing this for 14 or 15 years now and in that time the death rate in these communities has reduced considerably.
“It’s a project close to hearts of women and mothers … we’ve all had access to great healthcare, so it touches the heart to see how some people don’t.”
The club fundraises $5000 each year to cover the cost of putting the kits together as well as training birthing assistants.
Ms Denmead said it was pleasing to be able to put together the kits despite COVID restrictions in force.
“Normally we get some volunteers together and spend on day, usually in August, putting 1000 kits together,” she said.
“However this year we weren’t able to get everyone together … GenU were kind enough to lend us a space for two Saturdays and we were able to have 10 volunteers on each day putting the kits together.”