The First Lady of the US, Hillary Clinton, officially launched a 'Safe Home Delivey Kit' during her visit to a Kathmandu clinic in Nepal on March 31. Developed after 2 years of intensive research, the kit has been produced by Maternal and Child Health Products, a local company.
Of 700,000 annual births in Nepal, 650,000 are delivered at home under extremely unhygienic conditions. Nepal's maternal death rate of 850 per 100,000 each year -- the highest in the world -- is mostly caused by tetanus and sepsis. The kit contains devices similar to what a traditional Nepali birth attendant would use. It is claimed to be specially designed to suit traditional birth practices, including placing the umblical cord on a coin or a betel nut while cutting it.
The kit contains a small, sterilised, coin-like substitute, soap, a razor blade, sterilised umblical cord ties and a plastic sheet. All instructions for its use are illustrated. It costs only Rs 20 (50 US cents), and will be marketed through chemists, general stores, grocers, community health workers and medical practitioners.
We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.
Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.