The project, run by Traffina Foundation, targets rural areas where women are reluctant to visit hospital for delivery because of financial difficulties, choosing instead to give birth at home and risking infections.
Traffina’s 1-Kit-Saves-2 project hopes to distribute by 2016 at least 50,000 clean-birth kits free to facilities where they will be issued to women at point of delivery without payment.
At the distribution of kits in Abuja at the weekend, Traffina founder Chinomso Peters said, “High rates of home deliveries by people with little or no training in hygienic delivery practices and of shortages of suitable clean delivery materials all contribute to the problem of perinatal infection.” (infections at least five months before and one month after birth).
“What stops women from coming to facilities is that they cannot pay for delivery, but the kit contains every item that should be used for a woman during delivery,” said Peters, a trained nurse and midwife.
The kits come in pink handy packs that contain items recommended by the World Health Organisation for childbirth—disposable delivery mat, infant receiver, sterile gloves, cord clamps, mucus extractor, scalpel, mentholated spirit, antiseptic soap, cotton wool, olive oil, disinfectant, gauze, baby napkin and maternity pad.
Traffina added that the kit also has solar-powered head lamps for facilities where power supply is a problem, as well as family planning information, immunisation calendars, postnatal care information in local languages.
“If MDG funding stops, that means our women will continue to die? No. that’s why we are stepping up now, so that every Nigerian will come on board and support what we are doing so that we can even go beyond that 50,000,” Peters added.
Women are required to buy a birth kit or pay hospitals between N4,000 and N8,000 before childbirth, said first-time mother Nkechi Okeiyi.