For mothers-to-be, few things are scarier than not knowing where they will have their baby. During wars and conflicts like those in Yemen, Sudan and Nigeria, people flee and become refugees. Some of those leaving are pregnant women. Despite being displaced persons, they still need the same care during their pregnancies and deliveries; however, many times refugee camps are unsanitary and have few medical staff with limited supplies. The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and USAID work together to bring proper medical care to pregnant refugee women in Nigeria who have fled from Boko Haram.
The goal is to provide safe, clean, dignifying births to mothers. USAID sent UNFPA birth kits from Deluxe Childbirth Services to be handed out to mothers and potential mothers. This ensures that no matter where a woman ends up giving birth, she will have with her the items necessary for safe delivery. Included in the kit are a delivery mat, three infant diapers, antibacterial soap, methylated spirits, five pieces of gauze, cotton wool, an infant cord clamp, a scalpel and mucus extractor. USAID is also providing funding for training skilled delivery nurses in refugee camps and areas. Upon delivery, mothers receive baby packs with clothes and items that newborns need.
The goal of the packs is to provide the tools for doctors and nurses to deliver a baby in resource-limited areas as well as necessary sanitation items to prevent infection. Infections and lack of proper tools are the leading cause of maternal deaths in developing countries.
It is expected that there will be 60,000 births by displaced women in Nigeria alone this year. That means already limited resources will be taxed. The birth kits are a welcomed item in refugee camps because it means more women can have a safe and healthy delivery.
– Katherine Hewitt