Women

Mama Kits for Liberian Mothers

Mothers in Liberia

 

ABOVE: A mother lovingly wraps her newborn baby in a lapa cloth from an Africare Mama Kit.

 

BELOW: Newborn tripplets delivered at a local clinic in Bong County. The triplets' names are Tuwoh, Seminee, and Lepulah, which means "first," "second," and "last."

 

tripplets

 

 

 

 

Liberia has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world— three quarters of all pregnancies involve life-threatening complications. One of the main reasons that women die in childbirth is because long distances and harmful traditional practices mean that women deliver at home rather than in the clinic, so they do not have access to emergency care or skilled health professionals. Africare is working with the Liberian Ministry of Health and Social Welfare to keep mothers healthy and ensure that families remain intact by encouraging pregnant women to deliver their babies in clinics in rural Liberia.

In order to provide new mothers with all of the amenities they need to keep their newborns healthy, Africare is providing women who deliver at the clinic with a “Mama Kit.”


Included in the “Mama Kit” are a baby blanket, soap, diapers, a mosquito net, some sanitary napkins, and a length of cloth (called a lapa) for each mother.  Each kit costs $10, and this small amount of money will make an enormous difference in the life of a Liberian family.


Mama Kit


Garmai Johnson lives in War-ta Community in Bong County and recently received three Mama Kits after giving birth to triplets at Gbonota Clinic: “I born my five children at home because it is a far distance to the clinic in Gbonota town. Since Africare began supporting the clinic in Gbonota, they have been talking to us and the traditional midwives on borning in the clinic so that we can born healthy. When I was big belly this time, I heard that Africare was giving out Mama Kits to women who born at the clinic, so I walked to go and born there. I now have three beautiful girl children who were born at the clinic with the Certified Midwife and the Mama Kit I received will help me to care for my triplets.”

Abie Bornor, a Nurse Aide who works at Gbonota Clinic, explains how encouraging women to deliver in the health facility increases the likelihood that they will reach the hospital in time for life-saving interventions, should complications arise. “We used to have women dying in childbirth all the time because they would deliver at home and come to the clinic only after they had been bleeding, so it was too late for us to do anything or call the ambulance. Now when a woman has complications, we can call for the ambulance so she can get proper treatment at the hospital. In April we had one mother who was in prolonged labor, and because she was at the clinic, we called the ambulance. She gave birth at the hospital and now she has a bouncing baby boy.”

Since the onset of the Mama Kit campaign, Bong County has seen a doubling in the percentage of pregnant women who are delivering in health facilities, increasing their access to safe, clean delivery services. Mary Tennie, the Certified Midwife at Salala Clinic can attest to this. “Since Africare provided us with Mama Kits, maternal health has been improved because the Mama Kits encourage women to come to the clinic for delivery. A lot of the women who would have complications from delivery at home are now able to get care at the clinic. We did nine deliveries last week!” A quarter of all deliveries now occur in the health facilities, but we still have a long way to go to ensure that women are able to access the maternal and newborn care they need.

Looking for a special way to say you care this Mother's Day?

Send a Mama Kit to a Liberian Mother in honor of your mom or a special woman in your life.

DONATE NOW

(Mama Kits are $10 Each)

 

 

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