Zonta Club of Adelaide Hills assembles millions of birthing kits

Believing in a world where all women have access to a clean and safe birth, the Zonta Club of Adelaide Hills Inc, Australia, has distributed about 2.8 million Clear Birthing Kits (CBK) to 30 countries since 1999. Across the country, Zontians from Districts 22, 23 and 24 have created 1.7 million CBK on Assembly Days.

CBK holds a 1mx1m sheet of biodegradable plastic, soap, gloves, cords, gauze and a sterile scalpel blade in a press-seal biodegradable bag. It provides the essential items a woman or girl birthing in a remote region of a developing country needs to enable a clean and safe birth. It also prevents many deaths from infections and hemorrhaging.

The Birthing Kit Foundation administers, distributes and reports the project. The process is as follows:

  1. The club decides how many kits to make with them, each costing AUD$5. So, 200 kits cost AUD$1000.
  2. Volunteers gather to hear about Zonta and the birthing kit project and assemble the kits from the supplies they delivered. This has involved several thousand volunteers, including potential new members wanting to see a hands-on project, many of whom are inspired at assembly days to join Zonta.
  3. Clubs partner with schools, universities, businesses and other service clubs to provide funding and kit assembly.

More than 10,000 traditional birth attendants have been trained, and the club estimates that tens of thousands of women and babies are alive today because of the birthing kit.