$2 birth kit could prevent hundreds of deaths every day

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

What if you arrived at a hospital to give birth, only to be sent home because you didn’t bring your own delivery room supplies?

In some parts of the world that happens on a regular basis, sometimes with fatal results. Some 800 women die daily from complications related to pregnancy and childbirth, complications that often could be easily prevented with access to proper care and the most basic of supplies, according to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

Ninety-nine percent of these maternal deaths occur in the developing world, where many women still give birth at home in a less-than-sterile environment or can be turned away from under-equipped hospitals and clinics if they don’t bring their own supplies with them. At home or in the hospital, the lack of adequate basic supplies provides an opening for infection and other complications.

The JANMA Clean Birth Kit, produced for about $2, shows that one solution to the supplies problem needn’t be complicated or expensive. Assembled and packaged by local women in rural India, it is a biodegradable jute envelope containing a soft, blood-absorbent sheet that provides a clean surface for birth; medicinal soap for the birth attendant; disposable gloves; a sterile blade to cut the umbilical cord and a sterile clamp to secure it.

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation (link opens in a new window)

Health Care