Mama Bags

Throughout rural Uganda, maternal health care services are significantly under-utilised with 80% of women preferring to deliver their babies at home using traditional unskilled care – often from a family member. The conditions under which they deliver are often very unhygienic, and as these women deliver without the support of a trained midwife complications during labour are very common. As a result, throughout Uganda for every 100,000 live births 343 women lose their lives; in the UK the figure is 9 (WHO 2017).

The main objective of AVS’ Mama Bag project is to motivate expectant mothers to attend the health centre for routine check-ups and for the delivery of their babies. Henceforth, infant and maternal mortality rates will be lowered as well as a significant reduction in maternal-foetal transmission of HIV/AIDS.  AVS believes that everyone has the right to a safe childbirth and pregnancy. 

Mama Bag Meeting

As each bag is only given once each expectant mother has attended three antenatal checkups, the number of women attending antenatal clinics and delivering within Muyembe Health Centre has significantly increased throughout this time. In addition, because the project provides an incentive, women are travelling from further afield to Muyembe to receive their maternity care instead of from their local clinics. Therefore, AVS hopes to increase the number of bags distributed per month, alongside continuing to encourage mothers to receive valuable education and increased safety throughout their pregnancies and deliveries.

Each bag provides basic items to help with hygiene during the birth and immediate aftercare for both mother and child, and includes: an outfit and a shawl for the baby, cotton wool, a bar of soap, laundry soap, surgical gloves and petroleum jelly. This is a such a big gift for our mothers who otherwise would not have access or the funds to acquire even the basic items for themselves.

Currently most clothing items are donated from AVS’ UK supporters and transported to Uganda, with hygiene items purchased locally to Muyembe. AVS hopes that eventually the funds generated from this appeal will ensure all items can be purchased from around Muyembe, enabling AVS to support a greater number of women on a continuous monthly cycle – whilst giving back to the local economy and reducing transport costs.

£382 will fund the provision of 60 Mama Bags to expectant mothers for 1 month.

£2297 will fund the provision of 60 Mama Bags to expectant mothers for 6 months.

£4595 will fund the provision of 60 Mama Bags to expectant mothers per month for 1 year.

Any contribution towards the continuation of this project will be very gratefully received and will be used to further the delivery of the project.