Students helping to save lives of mothers and babies
ON THURSDAY October 16, members of the Zonta Club of the Whitsundays and students from Proserpine State High School and St Catherine’s senior campus, joined forces to assemble 400 birthing kits for women in developing countries.
The exercise was part of a birthing kit project, which started in Adelaide in 1999 and became recognised as the Birthing Kit Foundation (Australia) in 2007.
The project is dedicated to improving conditions for women who give birth at home in developing countries. Its three goals are to make and distribute birthing kits to women in remote and rural regions of developing countries, to establish funded health training programs for health workers and traditional birth attendants and to encourage sustainability through in-country kit production and funding of training programs.
Birthing kits co-ordinator for the Zonta Club of the Whitsundays Wendy Downes said according to statistics, women in developing countries were dying from complications related to pregnancy and childbirth at a rate of one every 90 seconds.
“With an estimated 385,000 women still dying annually from childbirth, many from infections acquired during childbirth, there is a great need for our clean birthing kits,” she said.
The birthing kits program is supported and funded by AUSAID, together with donor partners and Zonta clubs around Australia. The kits are distributed to countries including Africa, PNG, Afghanistan, Tibet and Vietnam.
Ms Downes said this was the first year that St Catherine’s students had been involved in the project, which has now become an inclusive part of the Proserpine State High School year 11 curriculum.
For more information on this project contact Wendy Downes on 0418 768 493 or visit www.birthingkitfoundation.org.au.
MAKING A DIFFERENCE: From back to front: Kirrah Rattray, Bianca Sturma, Jesse Brett (Zonta), Jamie Hale, Montana Oswald, Nakita Jepsen, Sahara Taylor-Crane, Bree Pirlo, Robyn Dair, Georgia Jeffcoat, PJ Halter (Zonta), Kayla Schneider, Laura Morrison (Zonta), Jamie Saunders, Jarrah Kennedy, Suzanne Byron (Zonta), Wendy Downes (Zonta), Mae Seacomb (Zonta), Ky Erickson, Ruby Murdoch, Steph Adamson, Breeana Bugeja, Ashleigh Farrell, Lauren Nielsen, Dani Formby, Paige Waller, Krystal Peterson and Storm Tebbutt, assembled birthing kits for women in developing countries last week.