Community development and sustainability
BKFA is committed to working towards sustainable change in birthing practices for the world’s most vulnerable women. BKFA addresses 5 of the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs): improvement of maternal health; reduction in child mortality; gender equality and empowerment of women; combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases; and encouraging global partnerships for development. BKFA’s strategy to help achieve these MDGs is to ensure a safe and clean birthing environment by providing training to in country health workers (so they can in turn train traditional midwives and mothers) and providing clean birthing kits (to be replaced by local materials from local sources).
In 2006, BKFA recognised the need to complement the supply of birthing kits to communities in need with programs that would create sustainable cultural change to prevent harmful birthing practices. The Foundation took a strategic move to develop in country programs to support this, such as training programs and the making of birthing kits in country.
BKFA has researched areas of high need based on the approach to estimating maternal mortality developed by WHO, UNFPA and UNICEF. We place a priority on countries with the highest maternal mortality risk and is moving towards addressing our activities to areas where we can maximise the impact of our funds, while maintaining the current partnerships in needy communities that are progressing towards sustainability and where very good cooperative relationships have been established.
BKFA looks at its capacity to provide support to the partners in the form of supplies of birthing kits and/or funding training and in country kit production programs and also looks at the long term capacity of communities to work towards sustainable solutions for the clean birthing principles that we are establishing.
Individual countries have unique health systems and demographics and so BKFA, NGOs and health officials work together to effect the most efficient and workable scenario for the training programs and the distribution of kits to support established health programs involving traditional birth attendant.
The first training programs were initiated in 2006 in Vietnam and involved 3 – 5 day training sessions where Traditional Birth Attendants, Health Extension Workers, Village Nurses and health workers were educated in nutrition, general health care, midwifery and issues relating to HIV/AIDS prevention. These programs were designed by the local people to meet their needs. Since then, training programs have been run in Vietnam, Kenya, India, Ethiopia and DR Congo with over 9,000 TBAs trained.
For more information of all of the training programs we have funded click here.
In Country Kit Production (ICKP)
The first kits were made in Vietnam in 2008 and since that time In Country Kit Production (ICKP) programs have been successfully undertaken in Vietnam, Ethiopia and DR Congo with over 130,000 kits made in country.
For more information of all of the ICKP programs we have funded click here.