Project Report:
Make Childbirth Safer in Laos Phase Two

Jan 2016 to Oct 2016

The project:
Make Childbirth Safer in Laos
Technologies used:
JANMA Clean Birth Kit
Local partner:
The problem: 

In the isolated communities of Salavan Province, Laos, it is believed that contact with blood during childbirth brings bad luck, so women in these areas often give birth alone in the forest without assistance from their families or health professionals. This has resulted in high maternal and infant mortality in Laos.

How we helped: 

A further 2000 JANMA Clean Birth Kits were distributed to nurses trained by our local partner in the field, Nurses say that the clean birth kits help them to provide a sterile birthing environment, prevent infections and save the lives of both mothers and babies. Mothers also appreciate the kits especially the clean sheet supplied for use during labour.

The clean birth kits have not only assured sterile birth but have also helped the nurses preparing the birthing space for the next delivery. Local clinics in Laos have only one set of labour equipment and one ward, with two to five active nurses who travel to five different villages to provide medical services. One nurse usually manages the clinic alone. With the stock of JANMA Clean Birth Kits, standby nurses can prepare for the next birth quickly as they no longer have to sterilise the one set of labour equipment in the clinic before the next delivery.

What people are saying: 

“As we lack supplies and equipment, Clean Birth Kits really save us and make many pregnant women in the villages safe.”
Mr Bounlieng, Nurse, Bongnum Public Health Service, Taoi district, Salavan province, Laos

“In the past, when more than one or two women come to deliver in the clinic, we always run out of supplies or equipment and it takes us some time to clean the equipment in time for the next delivery. Now that we have Clean Birth Kits they solve our problem.”
Mr Somphone, Nurse, Khuaset Public Health Service, Salavan district, Salavan province, Laos

“Women who live far from the clinic and are not able to reach us in time often decide to give birth by themselves. Due to tradition, they are forbidden to give birth in the main house. In some cases, they are allowed to give birth in the kitchen. In the worst case, they have to give birth in the backyard or forest. Since they don't have a clean mat to lie down on or a clean cloth to clean their new baby, the rate of infection is high. Now that we have birth kits, they really make things clean, prevent infections and save lives.”
Mr Kuxia, nurse, Talor Public Health Service, Samouai district, Salavan province, Laos

Reaching the last mile: 

Through collaboration with their local partner, the Association for Community Development, trained local nurses twice a year and supplied 2,000 clean birth kits to the trained nurses and local clinics in Salavan province and Sekong province, Laos.

Some mums-to-be opted for home delivery and used the kits they received from their local clinic, with the help of midwives, nurses, or family members. Some mums-to-be bring their kits along when they come to the hospital. Starting in March this year, also supplied clean birth kits to Lao Ngam Hospital, a local hospital in Salavan province, Laos.

Every month, receives pictures and data about kit use from their local partner. They also continuously seek feedback from the nurses to ensure that the kits suit the needs of the mothers.

The challenges: 

There are limited birth kits available in the target area, and if they can be found, they are expensive. also learned that many nurses working at the public health services graduated in general nursing, not midwifery programs. These nurses need further training and support, as well as training on how to use the clean birth kits.

Technology feedback

Make Childbirth Safer in Laos Phase Two