SEATTLE, March 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Each day at least 1,600 women die during
childbirth around the world, 90 percent of them in Asia and sub-Saharan
Africa. It doesn't have to be that way.
PATH (Program for Appropriate Technology in Health), a Seattle
nonprofit, has collaborated with the Save the Children Alliance of Nepal to
develop an inexpensive, single-use delivery kit that saves lives during
childbirth. World Health Day on April 7 will focus on safe motherhood, and the
delivery kit has made a substantial contribution to the health of many women
The kits have become very popular; in the first year of production by
Maternal and Child Health Limited (MCH Ltd.), a woman-owned company in
Kathmandu, 120,000 kits were purchased by families in Nepal. Recently, the
United Nation Children's Fund has ordered 20,000 kits for distribution in
Bhutan, and the kits are being sold at a retail outlet on a main street in
During their research, the organizations found that Nepalese women
typically give birth at home on an unclean surface, usually assisted by an
untrained family member or traditional birth attendant. Usually these helpers
use traditional but unclean tools, a practice that often leads to infection,
and sometimes to death.
The simple delivery kit contains supplies for a clean delivery including a
new razor blade, a plastic sheet to cover the ground, three cord ties to tie
off the umbilical cord, a small bar of soap, a clean surface for cutting the
cord, and pictorial instructions on how to use the kit.
During the development process the two organizations sought to create an
affordable kit that local people would want to use. They also attempted to
develop a sustainable project through providing technical assistance to local
women to develop their own enterprise to produce and distribute the kit.
The kit has been approved by the Nepali Ministry of Health and is being
sold through small shops in village bazaars.
PATH and the Alliance were supported in their work with funding from
United States Agency for International Development, United Nations Children's
Fund, and United Nations Population Fund.
PATH is an international organization that is committed to improving the
health of women and children, especially in developing nations. Since 1977,
PATH has implemented more than 800 health and family planning projects in
Headquartered in Seattle, PATH is overseen by a board with members from
around the world, and operates offices in Jakarta and Lombok, Bangkok, Hanoi,
Manila, Nairobi, Kiev, and Washington, D.C.