Four midwives from Kilmore District Health assisted the Zonta Club of Mitchell in assembling 200 birthing kits.

Kilmore District Health midwives helped support the Zonta Club of Mitchell in assembling birthing kits for mothers and their newborns as part of the Clean Birth Kit initiative.

A total of 200 kits were assembled for the Birthing Kit Foundation Australia at Kilmore District Health’s outpatients building on Saturday, May 15, as part of the annual project.

The Zonta Club of Mitchell is a subgroup of the international organisation Zonta, which has empowered women through service and advocacy since 1919.

Zonta Club of Mitchell member Glenda Zanko said this year Zonta wanted to engage the community in assembling the birth kits, and the midwives were the obvious people to ask for assistance as they worked with parents and newborn babies each day.

“The thought behind [inviting the midwives] was to engage local community services that support women locally during pregnancy, birth and the post-natal period,” she said.

“Working in collaboration with the midwives at Kilmore District Health was ideal for the birthing kit assembly day as they have women’s birthing experience at the forefront and being able to provide a clean birth kit for women in developing countries is a satisfying way for all to contribute to better birthing outcomes for women.

“Kilmore District Health management were very supportive of Zonta Club of Mitchell holding the birthing kit assembly day at their facility and provided an area in the outpatients building.

“Four midwives attended the birthing kit assembly day and were very productive in helping to put the kits together.”

The Birthing Kit Foundation Australia is an organisation that assists women birthing at home in remote and developing countries by providing birthing kits and education in clean birthing practices.

Kits are given to mothers through community outreach programs, supplied to health facilities for use by doctors, midwives and nurses or distributed to traditional birthing attendants.

Each kit includes a black plastic sheet, a pair of gloves, five squares of gauze, a cake of soap, a scalpel blade and three pieces of string which are all secured in a zip lock bag.

The kits are designed to support hygiene practices and environments during child birth in under-resourced settings.

“By participating in the Clean Birth Kit Initiative we can positively impact the lives of mothers and babies in developing countries by providing resources to allow a clean birth environment and improve outcomes for expectant mothers,” Ms Zanko said.

She said the birthing kits were more crucial than ever as the COVID-19 pandemic had reduced access to health services and products in developing countries.

Zonta Club of Mitchell invites all new members to the group, with more information about Zonta available on its Facebook page facebook.com/zontaclubofmitchell.

Further information on Birthing Kit Foundation Australia can be found on bkfa.org.au.