On arriving in Uganda in January 2008, Kuol spent 2 and a half days at customs trying to collect the consignment. All seven boxes in the consignment were released after a tax of US$200 was paid (this was generously covered by Zonta International).
Mel and Kuol then carted the 150kg of goods on buses to the north of Uganda and across to Juba in South Sudan. Henry and I arrived in Wäramoth two weeks after Mel and Kuol. On our second to last day in Wäramoth a large number of women including two midwives were gathered at Mel and Kuol’s ‘home’, a tent, latrine and shower tent. We demonstrated, using Kuol and his mother as interpreters, how to use the birthing kits, stressing the hand washing and safety with the scalpel blades. We divided the birthing kits in to four lots of 50 to be used in different regions around Wäramoth. News spread and the next day 2 more midwives arrived at Mel and Kuol’s home to be given their kits, this was very useful as it was too difficult for us to walk to them.
The partnership between Zonta International and Timpir is a new and developing one, but one we hope will continue for many years to come. To date we have delivered 400 birthing kits to South Sudan which have hopefully assisted with the safe and healthy delivery of 400 babies in South Sudan.
Seven laboratory technicians, a Ph.D student and Mel and Kuol gathered together in the University of South Australia’s School of Pharmacy & Medical Sciences staff room one long lunch hour to assemble 200 birthing kits which had been donated by Zonta International. Each kit had a small block of soap, a scalpel blade, a gauze pad, a pair of gloves and a large piece of black plastic packed into a small plastic bag. It was an art to pack all of the contents neatly and small enough to fit in the bag. The birthing kits were part of a consignment of donations including pens, pencils, school bags and antiseptic cream that Timpir sent to South Sudan in December 2007.
In February 2007, we delivered 200 birthing kits donated by Zonta International to traditional birth attendants in the Aweil region of South Sudan. These birthing kits help to provide a clean birthing site which may decrease the risk of maternal and infant death through infection. The birthing kits were received with much excitement and even a statement of “How do those people all the way over there (in Australia) know what we need here to deliver a baby!” The birth attendant indicated great interest in receiving more birthing kits, and as such it is hoped that we will be able to make this an ongoing project.
Australians supporting health, education and development in South Sudan