Zonta Club of Mitchell and midwives from Kilmore District Health joined forces on Saturday to create 200 birthing kits to be distributed to developing countries and help women without access to health services give birth safely.

Zonta Club of Mitchell members joined midwives at Kilmore District Health, KDH, at the health service’s outpatients building on Saturday to create 200 birthing kits in what has become an annual tradition.

For the past five years, Zonta Club of Mitchell has created birthing kits for Birthing Kit Foundation Australia, which are distributed to developing countries and help women without access to health services give birth safely.

Zonta is an international organisation dedicated to advocating for and empowering women around the world.

Zonta Club of Mitchell member Glenda Zanko said it was the second year the club partnered with KDH midwives.

“During COVID we couldn’t get together to do it, so as members we just put them together ourselves in our own homes,” she said.

“Prior to that it was just the Zonta members who did the birthing kit day, and we didn’t have anyone from any external organisations involved.

“I thought it was a good way to encourage a partnership between the midwives at Kilmore District Health and promote Zonta as well by spreading the word in the community.

“Unfortunately, even though Zonta has been going for more than 100 years, some people haven’t heard of it.”

Ms Zanko said making the birthing kits for women in developing countries was in line with Zonta’s mission.

“I think other Zonta clubs do similar things, and it’s just so we can help other women in developing countries to provide them with a safe, clean birth and decrease the rates of mortality for women and babies,” she said.

“[The kits] are basic, but it does provide a clean and safe birth area for women in developing countries.

“It comes with a plastic sheet, there is a set of gloves, some gauze and a scalpel blade to cut the baby’s cord and a string to tie the cord.”

Ms Zanko thanked KDH maternity unit manager Tania Nicholson, maternity services clinical coordinator Fiona Ballinger and former acting chief executive Jen Gilham for helping to establish the partnership, as well as the Zonta members and midwives who helped create the kits.

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