In rural PNG the mortality rate in childbirth is 1:7, with a maternal mortality rate of 3 in every 1,000 live births. The need for aid here is great. From the first 100 Birthing Kits that were distributed we saw a significant reduction in both maternal deaths and infant deaths.
Originally supporting the villages of Kavataria, Mokosaida and Oyabia (2,000 people), Caring for Kiriwina (supported by Yarralumla Uniting Church, St Vincents College at Potts Point and Holistic Hampers) has been able to expand Birthing Kit distribution to the villages of Kwemtula, Osaisuya, Gumilababa, Oyuveyova, Teiyava and Tukwaukwa (nearly 5,000 more people). We also distribute torches, warm clothing and aspirators.
Each Birthing Kit also includes a Birth Certificate form, as birth records are not officially kept by the PNG Government.
The Village Health Volunteers (VHVs), who make use of the Birthing Kits, require training in the use of the Kits and we are additionally fundraising to organise trainers from Australia to provide free training for these volunteers.