HELPING THE MOTHERS OF TOMORROW
Improving maternal health and encouraging expectant women to deliver at a health facility is a priority for Innovations for Transformation Initiative (ITI). Expecting mother's were able to receive Mama kits at Kahondo in Kamwenge District. Several interventions are being implemented to improve safe delivery in rural communities in Uganda. In 2013, a study on the obstacles to full utilization of antenatal care services was carried out. It revealed a number of factors that hindered pregnant women from delivering at health facilities. These included lack of baby wrappers, hygiene issues, attitude of health workers, lack of privacy in the delivery room, and delivery posture. Surprisingly enough, a number of women cited the lack of baby wrapper as the biggest challenge. “To deliver at the health center, you needed to be ready to put up with the nurses harsh words. ‘Why do you have children if you can’t afford a cloth to wrap your baby?’ the midwives would tell us,” says Mbabazi Grace, a mother of three. This pushed the mothers away, and they resorted to delivering at home or with the help of traditional birth attendants (TBA). Faced with this unexpected problem, ITI introduced the mama kit package which cost about $5 and is given free of charge to every pregnant mother who attend our mobile clinic days. A mama kit package contains a one meter piece of cotton cloth (baby wrapper), one laundry soap, a pair of gloves, a piece of cotton wool, small gauze, cord ligature, and a meter of polythene sheet which is used on the delivery table. In many health facilities country wide, baby wrappers are not provided to mothers. These essential items are not easily afforded by pregnant mothers in rural areas. They cost the project about USD 5 per unit. This has helped us prevent infection of the mother and the new born.