Through BKFA’s partnership with World Vision, birthing kits were donated and delivered to Somalia, a country whose experience of drought and famine has been compounded by internal conflict and population displacement. A lack of maternal health services in Somalia means that expectant mothers face a one in 12 chance of dying in childbirth.

For women like Fatima – who is currently expecting her seventh child, a clean birthing kit helps to provide a simple way of ensuring a clean birth, regardless of whether she is able to make it to a health centre for childbirth. We hear from Fatima at the Isha Maternal Health Centre in Baidoa, where she had come for her fourth antenatal care visit.

“Before attending the clinic, I was not aware how to prevent infections during birth,” Fatima said. “I have always been assisted by a traditional birth attendant, who cut the umbilical cord using a razor blade that she carried with her. With [my midwife] Luul’s help, I have learnt to tie the umbilical cord using a clean string. If I go into labour and cannot get to the clinic, I can still have a clean birth using the birthing kit.”

A typical month sees more than 1,000 women attending the Isha Maternal Health Centre. Many, likeFatima, now leave with important tools and knowledge to protect their health and that of their newborn.

Fatima is pictured above, holding her baby who was born safely at the Isha Maternal Health Clinic in Baidoa.