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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Craft Hope - Birthing Kits for Konbit Sante

Just a quick post to highlight something that I think is really important. I've taken some of the information from their website, so that you understand the importance of these kits and maybe be inspired to get involved. If not in this project, then in the next one. As someone who has only recently had a baby, it is especially close to my heart. It feels good to be doing something for other people and to know that something so simple can help drop the infant and mother mortality rate in such a challenging environment, makes my little heart smile. Please get involved and do what you can. 
Craft Hope is an organisation that crafts for charity. This is not as light and fluffy as it sounds. 
This year they are going back to Haiti. Project 11 (running until end of Feb) will benefit Konbit Sante, a wonderful organization that has, for nearly ten years, worked to provide the education and resources necessary to improve capacity within the public health system of Cap-Haitien, Haiti’s second largest city.  Even before the earthquake, Haiti’s health statistics were dismal, and now the need is even greater.  Shockingly, one in eight Haitian children dies before the age of five, and their maternal mortality rate is 1,400 deaths for every 100,000 –a  reflection of the fact that the majority of the population lives in poverty/on less than a dollar a day. Only one in every 10,000 Haitians has access to a physician.
For the past three years, Konbit Sante has been spearheading a family planning and maternal health project in the most needy neighborhoods of Cap-Haitien that includes working more closely to support trained birth attendants (TBAs) who attend the vast majority of births in the community. They began supplying them with safe birthing kits to use in their deliveries. TBAs attend the vast majority of births in Haiti and have no formal medical training to speak of.  The kits represent a “value added” component to their services, offer a measure of status, and are well received. There is ample evidence internationally that the kits can reduce infant and maternal mortality.
Delivery kits are one important step to improving clean delivery practices within integrated maternal and neonatal health programs. Delivery kits have several key objectives. When introduced as part of clean delivery programs, they contribute to the:
• promotion of clean delivery practices;
• reduction of maternal sepsis;
• reduction of neonatal tetanus, sepsis, and cord infection;
• reinforcement of maternal and newborn health programs; and
• provision of a convenient source of clean supplies.
In the home, supplies needed to conduct a clean delivery often are not available. Even where reusable delivery kits are used by trained TBAs, the instruments are seldom cleaned between deliveries, and necessary supplies such as clean cord ties may not be restocked. The World Health Organization (WHO) states that “The use of simple, disposable delivery kits will help achieve as clean a delivery as possible.”
Go HERE to sign up for this (or other projects) and to get a list of what to include in the kits. Or you can click on the CRAFT HOPE button on my sidebar.
Please spread the word about our current project by tweeting about it, blogging about it, putting their button on your page (the embed code is on their website), and by joining their facebook group.
Three of my bestest girlfriends are getting together tomorrow to make some kits with me. We are really excited to be doing something so worthwhile and I will be adding pictures to my flickr page and to the Craft Hope flickr page.
Go on. Get stuck in.

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