In 2013, HOPE4HEALTH ran the inaugural Birthing Kits Assembly Night. This event saw midwifery, medical and nursing students come together to lend a practical hand in improving maternal health and safe birthing in developing countries.
This event was run in association with the Birthing Kit Foundation of Australia and the Zonta International (for more info see www.birthingkitfoundation.org.au). Both organisations have a common goal of improving the status and health of women in developing countries. With an estimated 385,000 women dying annually in childbirth, the provision of equipment and education of women for safe childbirth is significant area of need.
On the night students put together simple packs of essential items for a safe birth. The kits cost a mere $3 each, but with invaluable items such as soap, scalpel blades and gloves it can make a huge difference to the cleanliness of a birth.
Students also had to opportunity to hear from two guest speakers on the night, who reinforced the issues of poor maternal health that are faced in developing countries. Prof. David Ellwood – Director of Maternity & Fetal Medicine – Gold Coast Health District, President of Federation of Asia and Oceania Perinatal Societies, and Associate Professor Anne Sneddon – Clinical Director of O&G at GCH, and also the Chair of the Board of ALSO Asia-Pacific – gave both informative and inspiring talks.
The night was a huge success with 400 kits packed and have since been delivered to Ethiopia where they are now being utilised to facilitate safer births. We will be running the event again in 2014 so if you would like to be involved then we would love to have you join us for another great evening next year.