LIFESAVING IMPACT: Volunteers Tricia Wright, Heather Sugget, Gaye Lavery, Di Risely, Karen Sonter, Joan Beattee, Susan Harrison, Pam Gregory, Ivan Mapp, Gaye Ignatenko and Joyce Chorny assembled birthing kits.
LIFESAVING IMPACT: Volunteers Tricia Wright, Heather Sugget, Gaye Lavery, Di Risely, Karen Sonter, Joan Beattee, Susan Harrison, Pam Gregory, Ivan Mapp, Gaye Ignatenko and Joyce Chorny assembled birthing kits.

Volunteers pack birthing kits to save mums, bubs overseas

IN a first of its kind for a dedicated group of Hervey Bay volunteers, 200 life-saving birthing kits will help save the lives of women and their babies globally.

Hervey Bay Sunrise Rotary Club's team of 13 volunteers last week assembled the kits to be sent to underdeveloped countries to help prevent women and their babies dying during childbirth.

Hervey Bay Sunrise Rotary Club Rotarian Di Riseley said many developing countries did not have the resources for women to access health facilities and hospitals.

"The kits are hoped to address their (countries) mortality rate so they can have clean deliveries for children,” Ms Riseley said.

"It is mental health month for Rotary this month so we just wanted a project that could address that, the Zonta Club held one last year and they are guiding us.

"It's just one of the many things we do, anything to provide to... these under underprivileged countries.

"It is an education process as well as providing a clean area for them to birth.”

The initiative is in conjunction with Zonta and Birthing Kit Foundation Australia.

More than 300,000 women will die each year from childbirth globally, with the majority from preventable infections caused during birth.

In Australia 150,000 birthing kits are packed and delivered each year.

Millions of kits have been made by volunteers in Australia and delivered to over 30 countries in the last 18 years.

The birthing kits consist of a sheet of plastic, gloves, soap, gauze, cords, and a sterile scalpel blade in a small plastic seal bag.

The kits will be sent to the Birthing Kit Foundation Australia organisation then distributed to a number of developing countries to aid women with clean, safe delivery of their children.

It costs just $3 to make the crucial kits and send them to their destinations.

"Next year we hope to make up more of them and we will be asking for volunteers to help us assemble them,” Di said.

For more visit www.bkfa.org.au.



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