In the US, many of us take for granted that women are able to deliver healthy babies, most often in a hospital with a doctor and nurses to care for the child and mother should a complication arise. Yet in Haiti, more than 80% of births occur at home, with 50% of them without any outside assistance. They are unable to afford professional services, they may not be educated in proper techniques for caring for the child, or they may not have access to the resources they need. This leads to infectious diseases, pregnancy-related complications, delivery-related complications—and one of the highest infant and maternal mortality rates in the world.
Prior to International Child Care’s involvement with Maternal Health, “When a child was going to be born [the parents] would start building a coffin,” recalled ICC Maternal Health Coordinator Madame Sam. “Because of ICC, they don’t need to do that anymore.”
ICC aims to provide Healthy Birth Kits to every expecting mother and involve her and the child in a Healthy Family support system to ensure a healthy, hope-filled childhood. This support includes pre-natal and post-natal visits, community development, vaccinations, literacy training, growth monitoring, nutrition classes, and more. It costs ICC approximately $30 per Healthy Family, so we request a $15 donation with each healthy birth kit in order to help pay for this expense.
Assembling a Health Birth Kit (or kits) is a fun and simple way to empower families, church youth groups, Sunday School classes, and individuals to make a substantial difference that’s easy to see.
Here’s How to Get Started:
1. In a Hefty ® "one-zip" zip-lock bag, collect the following items. Note: it is important not to vary from the exact contents of the kit in any way. We want all kits to be identical and for all mothers to be cared for equally!
· 1 single-edge razor blade
· 1 nail brush
· 1 Bar of Dial antibacterial soap or equivalent (4 ounce)
· 2 sterile gauze pads in the wrapper (4x4 inches)
· 2 sections of quarter inch umbilical tape that are 8 inches long. (click here for more information | product number 401-28)
· 1 prayer card on a 3x5 inch note card with your name, address, telephone number and prayer wishes. We will send along your note translated to the appropriate language and keep your contact information confidential. If making this kit with a group, just one person’s contact information will suffice.
2. Mail the Healthy Birth Kit. We partner with Rays of Hope International for shipment of our in-kind donations into Haiti. Our shipping guide explains everything you need to know about shipping through this organization, and you’ll find the exact address to use in the instructions. To ensure the items reach the proper destination, please ship through this process and not to International Child Care directly.
3. Send a check with a minimum donation of $15 per kit (to help cover the cost of the Healthy Family program) to the ICC National Office. Please include a list with complete inventory of kits for receipt purposes. Each gift of one kit and $15 represents one child and family who will receive the support for a healthy start.
International Child Care USA
240 West Michigan
Kalamazoo, MI 49007
That’s it! Just three steps—we told you it was easy! To keep up to date with what ICC is doing and how your contribution is making a difference, follow us on Facebook and Twitter, or sign up to receive our e-newsletter. Your contributions, no matter the size, truly do help provide healthy and positive futures for the children and families of Haiti.