Stu­dents help­ing to save lives of moth­ers and ba­bies

Whitsunday Times - - COMMUNITY NEWS -

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.

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