RELATED: Zonta kits helping reduce diseases
A CITY home to two new maternity wards will help create birthing kits for women delivering babies in third world conditions.
The Zonta Club of Bendigo has appealed for volunteers to partake in its annual campaign, which helps to reduce the risk of infection-related deaths.
The almost 2000 kits assembled in Bendigo last year were sent to remote locations in Uganda.
The club hopes to produce a further 2000 kits this year.
Each kit comprises of a plastic sheet, soap and gloves, gauze, a sterile scalpel blade and a clean cord.
The sheet is intended to prevent the mother and baby from coming into contact with an unhygienic surface.
The soap and gloves are for the birth attendant, to prevent the transmission of germs.
Gauze is intended to clear secretion from the baby’s eyes, while the blade and cord are intended to help the attendant safely cut the umbilical cord.
It is estimated that a mother or baby’s life is saved for every 11 birthing kits distributed, the Zonta club believes.
Two thousand kits could save 180 lives, and provide a hygienic birthing environment for many others.
A woman living in third world conditions dies of complications related to pregnancy and childbirth every two minutes, birthing kit co-ordinator Irene McKinna said.
“Annually, an estimated 385,000 women die from preventable infection,” she said.
Maternal mortality in Australia is low and decreasing, a 2016 study concluded.
The Zonta Club of Bendigo has raised $6000 to fund the production of this year’s birthing kits.
An assembly day has been scheduled for Saturday at the Bendigo Senior Secondary College Language Centre.
The city’s secondary schools are lending a hand in the meantime.
Interested assembly day participants should look out for the Zonta banner in the BSSC car park, opposite the Bendigo Bowls Club car park.
The assembly day will runs from 9.30am to 3.30pm.