Why maternal and newborn health?
Up to 30% of rural women in Kenya, face avoidable complications in childbirth resulting in the harm or death of thousands mothers and babies. A mother's death, injury or illness, causes her children to suffer from neglect, with negative long-term consequences on their education, health, and wellbeing, which isn't good for children or society.
We provide postnatal care packages to keep mothers and newborns safe
The contents of our packages and our general policy only to provide them to mothers who give birth in medical facilities act as a motivator, as the packages encourage women to exercise their legal right to give birth in a safe environment and to be healthy and safe from harm, as enshrined in Article 24 of the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child.
Nutrition, hygiene, and sanitation are among the most important health concerns of postnatal care. Accordingly, providing products such as porridge, soap, reusable diapers, and laundry detergent significantly helps mothers take care of their own and their newborn’s postnatal health.
Additionally, the package includes a Do Right information pamphlet that was developed, in consultation with doctors, nurses and maternity patients and endorsed by the Mid-Wives Association of Kenya in July 2017. The pamphlet educates mothers in English or Swahili on postnatal hygiene, physical and mental health concerns, breastfeeding and latching techniques, the importance of giving birth in clinics and the potential dangers of not doing it (especially in a country where ambulatory or outpatient care is inadequate or non-existent).
Our current partners
We partnered with four medical clinics in rural Kenya who gift our postnatal care packages to new mothers. The purpose of the package is to provide education, to promote hygiene and health and to help provide the fundamental rights of mothers and newborns to a safe life under the Convention of the Rights of the Child, art. 24.
Our policy recommendation is that these packages are only received by mothers, on the day they gave birth in the clinic, as an inducement to make them come to the facility.
To keep the package affordable, relatable and relevant, it comprises local products and a health pamphlet, crafted with input from Kenyan medical practitioners and endorsed by the Midwife's Association of Kenya.
Contents of the package prepared for the PP:
- A health pamphlet focused on educating mothers on how to give their baby the best chance to stay healthy and how to take care of their own physical health so they can effectively nurture their dependent children. The pamphlet covers:
- nutritional tips on how to restore their bodies with local ingredients
- hygiene tips
- a list of illnesses mothers and babies in rural areas are susceptible to after birth
- a list of the symptoms ranging form mild – relievable at home - to severe symptoms that need immediate medical attention
- educational tips on the importance of giving birth in clinics and the potential dangers of not doing it (especially in a country where ambulatory or outpatient care is inadequate or non-existent)
- Useful essentials in the package: (I’ve seen mothers walk out with naked babies because they can’t afford to dress them)
- 4 re-usable cloth diapers, with liners and plastic pant
- 4 sets of pajamas (2 long sleeve, 2 short sleeves)
- 2 Kanga’s for mothers to use as a sheet /towel, to carry her baby in and/or to wrap around her waste
- 1 bar of laundry detergent soap
- 1 bar of baby soap
- 1 tub of Vaseline
- 1 baby blanket
- 1 bag to hold all of the above
My PP required that packages could only be received by mothers on the day they gave birth in the clinic as an inducement to make them come to use delivery facilities in clinics.
who deliver i their facility Despite high patient and facility demands for our Do Right packages, out of the four medical clinics that we've partnered with, only one can afford to pay for them. To meet all our monthly demands for Do Right packages, we had to start creating and selling Do Right bracelets to raise the raise funds to pay for the packages.
Influenced by Orange is the New Black, we partnered with the Langata Women's Maximum Security Prison in Nairobi. We are the first external paying employers this prison has allowed. We fund and train a group of women in the prison to make the bracelets. Most of them are committed mothers who are serving life or long sentences. They use their income from Do Right to educate their children and to keep them healthy.
I started Do Right when I was 15-years-old. It grew out of my writing about Kenya's maternal health challenges for a school project. My math teacher was enthusiastic about my chosen theme and encouraged me not to give up on trying to solve these challenges.
As a Canadian-Kenyan, I know that Canadians are privileged to have the comfort in knowing that births in Canada take place with medical support and sufficient postnatal information and products. In contrast, I know that 70% of Kenya’s rural women face death or serious harm because they give birth without medical support. And after that, they face barriers to keep themselves and their baby healthy and safe due to poverty and a lack of knowledge. I am on a mission to Do Right by Kenyan mothers and their babies to overturn this inequality.