GIVING birth can be a dangerous plight at the best of times.
But in Australia, we have access to the best of care and hygiene to make the experience as little life-threatening as possible.
But for many women in third world countries it can literally mean dropping a newborn on to a dirt floor.
That's why the Zonta Club of Southern Gold Coast and Tweed is doing its bit to help women in developing countries give birth safely.
An estimated 385,000 women die annually in childbirth around the world in countries where midwives and doctors are simply not available.
Zonta members and friends will be gathering for a Birthing Kit Assembly Day being held on Sunday November 11 from 11am (DST), at South Tweed Sports Club in Minjungbal Drive, South Tweed.
They will be assembling 1000 kits, which they recently raised money for and are seeking volunteers to give a helping hand.
The kits comprise of a sheet of plastic, soap, latex gloves, three pieces of cord, a scalpel blade and some gauze squares in a plastic press-seal bag.
"These simple kits help save lives by reducing the risk of infection during childbirth," says the Zonta Birthing Kit Co-ordinator Marie-Elise Allen, " this is all about how we can give women access to safe birthing practices, regardless of race, religion, culture, history or socio-economic status.
Last year, the kits made by the Zonta group were delivered to women in rural Kenya.
Each year, the Zonta Club of Southern Gold Coast Tweed raises money for a number of projects, including the Breast Cushion Project where cushions and drainage bag covers are given to local hospitals, Tweed Shire Women's Refuge, the Sexual Assault Service, mature age scholarships at Kingscliff TAFE and the prevention of violence against women.
For more information or to volunteer your services on the day, please phone Marie-Elise 0412 632 304
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