Zonta members help mothers in developing countries

THE Zonta Club of Hervey Bay is hopeful simple birthing kits will help save the lives of hundreds of mothers in developing countries.

The Zonta Club of Hervey Bay helped prepare 600 birthing kits for women in developing countries. PHOTO: Supplied.

The club and 30 other volunteers gathered at the Queensland Country Women’s Association in Urangan on Saturday, 21 August to assemble the birthing kits.

Together, the group prepared 600 kits to help women deliver their babies safely and hygienically.

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According to UNICEF data, some 295,000 women worldwide died as a result of complications during pregnancy or childbirth in 2017.

Sadly, that meant more than 800 women died every day due to complications during pregnancy and childbirth during 2017.

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Zonta Club of Hervey Bay President Sara Diana Faraj said the kits, which cost about $5 to prepare, contain six basic items: A black plastic sheet, surgical gloves, a surgical blade, a cake of soap, gauze and strong cord.

The birthing kits have previously been sent to more than 20 countries, including Papua New Guinea, Ethiopia and Zambia.

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Sara said she had heard countless times how her own father was born outdoors and her grandmother received no hospital service or follow-up care.

“Somehow they both survived. I am grateful he was born safely and healthily but can only imagine the alternative,” she said.

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PHOTOS: Supplied.

Co-service chairs, Jenny Ferris and Heather Weir said the packs would be making their way to women who do not necessarily have access to hospitals and medical care, “where being pregnant could literally be a death sentence.”

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Sara said the kits are well-received.

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She said they had heard back from recipients that the kits motivated them to learn more about female health, pregnancy and advocate for better services in their communities.

If you are interested in Zonta’s projects or membership, you can call Susan Harrison on 0427 735 952.

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