The Maama Kit is an all-in-one kit that contains everything needed to help provide a clean and safe delivery. In order to give birth in most hospitals or clinics in Uganda, you must purchase all of the necessary supplies and bring them with you. If you do not have the supplies, you will often be turned away. Many of the women cannot buy the supplies, so they do not seek medical care, which often leads to complications and even death for the mothers and babies. A simple gift of a $10 kit can allow the women to give birth in a hospital or clinic, or if they must give birth at home they have proper sterile supplies. Research has shown that the gift of a Maama Kit can greatly reduce the number of women dying during childbirth.
Here are the answers to a few of the most common questions:
- What is a Maama Kit? Each Maama Kit contains plastic sheeting, razor blades, cotton wool (gauze pad), soap, gloves, cord ties, and a child health card. Each kit also includes an instruction sheet in both English and Luganda. All of the supplies are sealed so that they remain sterile until needed.
- What happens if a woman does not have a Maama Kit when she goes into labor? If a woman does not have a Maama Kit when she arrives at a hospital or clinic, she is usually denied help or sent away. Some clinics do offer their own kits for people to purchase, but they cost about $20. If the women cannot afford a Maama Kit, how can they afford the hospital?
- What does the kit cost? The mama kits are purchased from a NGO in Uganda called PACE. Each kit costs approximately $10. In the major cities in Uganda there are government-operated clinics and hospitals that care for people free of charge, if they can afford to purchase the needed supplies
We like the idea of supporting an organization in Uganda and contributing to their economy. It would not be cost-efficient to make kits in the US and ship them. Also, some of the supplies required by hospitals are not easily accessible there, like long rolls of cotton wool.
Just $10 can mean life or death to a woman and baby. A friend went to the hospital here just to visit the labor and delivery ward, and she came back stunned. Dirty, unorganized, and understaffed. A woman gave birth to a tiny baby, and while the mid-wife was out of the room taking the baby to the NICU (such as it was) the lady delivered another baby, a twin, that just fell to the floor, face down. She hadn’t brought another sheet to wrap that baby because she didn’t know she was having twins. The mid-wife came back and rushed that baby to the NICU but because they only had one oxygen tent and there was already another baby in it, both babies died. Maama Kits give mothers a better chance of getting through the delivery.
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