In this community, women have to purchase basic items such as a blade and gloves to be able to give birth at a health centre. Women are often forced into buying items they can’t afford or delivering at home which is not is not safe for the mother or the baby. As many women can’t afford these items, Birthing Kits provided by BKFA are highly valued.

The good news is that ‘On Call Africa’ Zambia have recently distributed over 600 Birthing Kits to the Health Centre and Community Health Staff in Simango Rural Health Centres, Katapazi Rural Health Centre, Mapatizya Rural Health Centre.

Nurses and community health workers give pregnant mothers a birthing kit at their antenatal clinic appointment. At this time, having been advised by the Doctors, the nurses explain how to use them in case the mothers find themselves in a situation where they have to give birth at home. The expectant mother keeps the kit until they are ready to give birth at which time they return to the Rural Health Centre with the birthing kit.

 One mother’s story

At Simango Rural Health Centre, an expectant mother had attended an antenatal appointment and received a birthing kit. When she came to giving birth the river water had risen so high she was unable to cross to get to the Health Centre. As she had been shown what to do with the birthing kit she was able to give birth comfortably at home. A few days later the water levels dropped and she was able to cross the river with the newborn baby. The Rural Health Centre checked the baby and mother and both were doing very well and were healthy with no signs of infection.

The nurses at the Rural Health Centre have all reported that they feel the birthing kits are encouraging women to attend their antenatal clinic appointments so that they can receive a birthing kit. Attendance at antenatal appointments has always been low which is a risk for both mother and baby.

On Call Africa have found the distribution of the birthing kits to be very positive experience and hope for the opportunity to distribute more birthing kits later in the year.