Packed to the rafters: $2 kit that saves mothers and babies


More than 200 volunteers are expected to fill the Great Hall at the University of Sydney to pack $2 birthing kits that can help save the lives of thousands of mothers and babies by reducing the risk of infection after birth.

Sydney Nursing School is holding a Birthing Kit Assembly Day on Wednesday 7 December. The group will pack 5000 kits which will then be sent to help pregnant women in Papua New Guinea and Africa to deliver their babies in safe and clean environments.

The school is calling for volunteers to assist its staff, students and alumni in sorting out and parcelling up the kits which will include a single-bed-sized plastic sheet for the mothers, gloves for the midwifes, string for tying the umbilical cord, and scalpels.

\”Each birthing kit contains the most basic equipment needed for mothers in resource-poor countries to give birth to their children in a safe and clean environment,\” says Professor Jill White, Dean of Sydney Nursing School.

\”Birthing in a safe and clean environment in Australia is something that we take for granted. But every minute a woman dies from complications related to childbirth and 99 percent of these deaths occur in resource-poor countries. With a birthing kit there is something very simple we can do to help.\”

An estimated 500,000 new mothers die each year in developing countries due to infection as a result of childbirth.

The birthing kits contain the essentials for creating a hygienic birthing environment for new mothers, potentially saving many thousands of lives.

The event will take place in the University of Sydney\’s Great Hall where volunteers will sort and package the items essential for the birthing kits.

These components have been purchased from Birthing Kit Australia for $2 per kit using funds raised by students and alumni of the University.

Special guest speaker on the day will be Gabi Hollows, founding director of the Fred Hollows Foundation. Gabi will be sharing about her experiences in helping those requiring medical assistance in resource poor nations.