Birthing Kit Workshop
On Saturday, March 27, 100 students from the University of Sydney’s Medical Programme participated in a Birthing Kit Workshop. This event was organized by globalHOME, Sydney University’s Global Health Group, with the aim to raise awareness of Maternal and Child Health in developing countries.
Professor Heather Jeffrey, an expert in maternal and child health, lectured on the epidemiology of birth in the third world, and the barriers to safe labour which results in almost half a million women dying in childbirth each year. Maternal Health has been a Millennium Development Goal since 2000, but unlike the success seen in many of the other Development Goals, maternal mortality rates have not improved. In Papua New Guinea, almost 9 women die per 1000 live births, catastrophic when compared to Australia, with 2-3 women dying per 100,000 live births.
Following the lecture, a SCORPIO session was conducted by Royal Hospital for Women obstetrician, Dr Lisa Hui, with a focus on assessing and preventing post-partum haemorrhage.
The day concluded with the students packing 1000 birthing kits, designed to facilitate a clean birth. These kits consist of soap, latex gloves, a scalpel blade, three cords to tie the umbilical cord, gauze, and a plastic sheet for the mother to lie on. These kits were sent, in conjunction with Zonta International, to Tu Du Ob-Gyn Hospital in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam.
This event would not have been possible without the help of MDA National’s financial support, the Northern Clinical School’s supply of gloves and handwash, and the hard work of those students coordinating the project – Georgia Ritchie, Amanda Beech, and Vikie Leon.