After a close friend died during childbirth, Adepeju Jaiyeoba founded the Brown Button Foundation, an organization in Nigeria that trains birthing attendants in 2011.
Training the birthing attendants led Jaiyeoba to another realization: the supplies being used to deliver babies often were not sterile and posed hazards to the health of both the mother and baby. In response, Jaiyeoba started the Mother’s Delivery Kits in 2013, a for-profit company that provides affordable birthing kits with safe and sterile equipment.
Jaiyeoba intended for her kits to be used as a safe alternative. However, it is not uncommon for dangerous practices to be used when health care practitioners and families lack access to safe and sterile birthing tools.
This is especially common in rural Nigeria. For example, traditional birth attendants may cut the baby’s umbilical cord with a rusty blade or suck mucus out from the baby’s nostrils to prevent them from asphyxiating. Both practices can lead to infection. In contrast, the Mother’s Delivery Kit provides sterilized scalpel blades and a mucus extractor along with another 13 to 15 sterilized delivery tools.
Development of the Mother’s Delivery Kit has been so influential that Jaiyeoba was recognized by President Barack Obama during the Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders Presidential Summit in 2014 for her ventures.
Mother’s Delivery Kits provides birthing kits for health centers, hospitals, university teaching hospitals, maternal and child health organizations and Traditional Birth Attendants. They have about 205 attendants and institutions that have registered for a consistent supply. Over 7,500 kits were sold in the first year alone. Such use has yielded a 100 percent safe delivery record.
As of 2015, 11,000 kits have been delivered. This life-saving company hopes to continue expansion through Nigeria and franchise their model to other organizations in countries with similar problems of high maternal and infant mortality rates during childbirth.
– Laura Isaza