Written by Keira Wallace, edited for online by Riana Horner
Townsville high school students are working to save expectant mothers in developing nations.
Students from Saint Margaret Mary’s College have been constructing and distributing birthing kits in an effort to reduce the number of fatalities associated with childbirth in a number of countries.
This year marks the 10 year anniversary of the collaboration between the all-girls school and the Zonta club of Townsville on the project.
According to the World Health organisation, more than 800 women die every day due to complications from giving birth.
Kelly Stokes from the Zonta Club praised the students and their eagerness to be involved.
“This generation is more socially aware than the generations before, I think access to the internet and access to current affairs has helped that,” Ms Stokes said.
“They are really involved and really keen to make the world a better place,” she added.
Ms Stokes said most of the students involved are in their final year of high school, but still find time to lend a helping hand.
“One of the teachers approached our club to say ‘can we work with you to do that’ and that was 10 years ago and we have been doing it every year ever since,” Ms Stokes said.
An estimated 385,000 women die every year during childbirth and third world countries such as Uganda, Afghanistan and Tanzania account for over 95 per cent of these deaths.
The Birthing Kit Foundation Australia provide the components of the kits to World Vision Vision Sisters, with the aim of reducing these statistics through supply of clean birthing kits.
Each kit only cost a few dollars and come with vital supplies for safe childbirth including a plastic sheet, soap, two gloves, a sterile scalpel blade, three cords and five gauze squares.
World Vision founder of Vision sisters Mariska Meldrum said around one in 49 women will die during child birth in countries like Uganda.
“To put this into a bit of context in Australia, around five woman will die per 100,000 births, so they face a much higher risk of death,” Ms Meldrum said.
The sisterhood have so far created around 20,000 kits.