Zonta ‘overwhelmed’ as volunteers flow in for annual birthing kit assembly program

Zonta birthing kit co-ordinator Irene McKinna says the club is overwhelmed by the response of local volunteers. Picture: Adam Holmes

Zonta birthing kit co-ordinator Irene McKinna says the club is overwhelmed by the response of local volunteers. Picture: Adam Holmes

Related: The small kit that could save lives

BENDIGO’S Zonta Club has has been overwhelmed with the response to its annual birthing kit program, receiving one of its greatest volunteer turnouts in 14 years.

More than 50 volunteers helped to put the kits together at Bendigo Senior Secondary College on Saturday morning, and more volunteers were expected to come along throughout the day.

The program involves placing a number of crucial birthing items into small packages to be sent to Uganda in an effort to reduce infant mortality.

Program co-ordinator Irene McKinna said it was close to their biggest turnout.

“There are so many people here willing to lend a hand,” she said.

Since the program’s first year in 2003, the Zonta Club of Bendigo has assembled 34,200 birthing kits to be sent to third-world countries.

The kits include a one-metre-square sheet of plastic, soap, rubber gloves, three cords, a sterile blade and gauze.

They cost $3 to make and for every 11 kits made, it is estimated at least one life will be saved.

Ms McKinna said they were hoping to complete 2000 kits.

“Since we started in 2003, these kits would have saved hundreds, if not thousands, of lives,” she said.

“The idea is to prevent infection in childbirth. Many people die from tetanus infections.”

The assembly runs until 3.30pm at the BSSC language centre.

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