Birthing kits help reduce deaths

INFANT and maternal mortality will be reduced thanks to a workshop being held tomorrow by the Zonta Club of Gladstone at Central Queensland University (CQU).

The group of Gladstone women will join together to compile birthing kits to be distributed to developing nations.

The birthing kit project has been adopted by Zonta clubs across Australia and the Gladstone club has been assembling kits for a number of years.

Zonta Gladstone president Terri Pienaar said Zonta's birthing kits program supports the Australian Government's support for programs that work towards achieving Millennium Development Goals, achievable targets set by the world's nations to reduce poverty and inequality by 2015.

The birthing kit project addresses four of the eight goals, to promote gender equality by empowering women, reducing child mortality, combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases and improving maternal health.

“The kit is contained in a small press seal plastic bag and includes a 1m x 1m plastic sheet for the mother to lie on, a piece of soap, two gloves, three gauze squares, three cord ties and a sterile scalpel blade,” Ms Pienaar said.

“Each kit costs approximately $2.50 to produce and transport.

“In 2010 we partnered with CQU who generously provided a 50 per cent subsidy for the purchase of 2400 kits.”

Zonta is inviting all members of the Gladstone community to come and help them tomorrow to assemble the kits between 9am and 3pm at CQU's Leo Zussino Building.

CQU will also provide a community barbecue for all volunteers.

If you are interested in taking part for the whole day, or even just an hour or two, it would be appreciated.

Zonta International, founded in 1918 in the USA, is the world's only service club solely dedicated to advancing the status of women advocacy, education, scholarships, service and fundraising.

Members are professionals and business women who contribute key skills and services to the clubs.

The Zonta Club of Gladstone has about 40 active members and will celebrate its 20th anniversary next year.

Telephone Terri on 0427 127 071 for more information.

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