We have been sending very simple, but effective birthing kits to the island for a number of years, and the success rate has been incredible. Infant and maternal deaths have decreased by 1/20 babies delivered per month, and we are working with local women to support them as they support birthing mothers. One of our big hurdles is the expense and difficulty of sending these kits to the island: although the kits are each quite small, as we send larger numbers the volume and weight has increased the costs. We also often have difficulty getting the kits through different points in the PNG postal system, and they can get lost or held up indefinitely. Kiriwina is a remote place! Hopefully these kits will arrive without incident.
We are just waiting for confirmation from Toks that 130 birthing kits have arrived. Will keep you posted.
Thanks to the wonderful on going support from our donors, such as the Yarralumla Uniting Church we can expand our birthing kit distribution to surrounding villages and save towards a re-education program for the midwives. We are also working on the production of Primer books.
What a fantastic philanthropic effort and promised future commitment from Teacher Sue Thomas and students from St.Vincents College, Potts Point. Sadly the founding member of the Caring for Kiriwina charity has become terminally ill and St. Vincents College have come on board to help us continue her great work helping to save many others. Sue Thomas and her students have made a gargantuan effort and produced 500 kits that are winging their way to the midwives on Kiriwina. Thank you all from the bottom of our heart.
Caring for Kiriwina would like to say a BIG Thank You! to our wonderful supporters from Yarralumla Uniting Church Canberra for their ongoing commitment to funding the production of these life saving disposable birthing kits.
We sent another 50 birthing kits to Kiriwina by Australia Post courier on Friday 5th July. As the last batch that we sent by mail took months to arrive, hopefully paying the courier price will mean they will arrive within weeks (as Australia Post promised). The Kiriwinans have been alerted that the birthing kits are on the way. Thank you Diana and Kylie Adams for packaging the kits and thank you to the Yarralumla Uniting Church in Canberra for their ongoing financial support!!.
Ralph Lawton received his doctorate in linguistics from ANU July 16th 2013! He can now focus on completing his bilingual Kiriwinan dictionary.