Sara is a trained doula and a passionate advocate for maternal health and birth rights. She has worked closely with the Swiss Philanthropy Foundation, a nonprofit that helps women and children across the world live better lives, support themselves, receive an education and access needed health care services. Along with her siblings, Sara is a Co-Founder of the Ojjeh Family Fund and has worked for more than a decade providing grants in eight countries in women’s health and rights, and education.
Clinics and hospitals in Uganda often lack essential medicines and supplies to help women give birth safely, leading to many unnecessary deaths.
Most Ugandan women give birth at home, but even when they can travel to a health facility to give birth, they find that life-saving supplies are often not available. There are regular stock-outs of medicines, scissors, cord clamps, and disinfectant. As a result, thousands of women and newborns die every year from complications in pregnancy and childbirth, including infection and uncontrollable bleeding after delivery.
This project will demonstrate the lifesaving potential of expanded “clean delivery kits” with the addition of two medicines that greatly reduce the risk of infection and uncontrollable bleeding for women and their babies.
Clean delivery kits are currently distributed in Uganda, but without two essential medicines – chlorhexidine and misoprostol – which have been proven to save lives. PSI has advocated for national policy changes to include these medicines in the kits and market them to women at the community level. To ensure more women have access to the kits before they give birth, they will be available at pharmacies, clinics, public sector hospitals, and through female community health workers – who will sell them for a small profit to help support their livelihoods.
The distribution of clean delivery kits enhanced with two essential medicines has the potential to save the lives of millions of women and newborns during and after childbirth.
By shifting policy to allow for community level distribution of the kits with the added medicines, this project has the potential to create long lasting change in women’s access to lifesaving drugs nationwide. Successful delivery of the model will also inform efforts in other countries to expand access to these medicines.