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How one kit helped save
Salifa & her baby

Parenthood is an incredibly special new chapter in life.

It’s also incredibly challenging – even when you’re prepped on what to expect and have everything you need on hand.

So you can imagine the struggle and stress that exists for new and expectant parents in developing countries like Cameroon, where health resources are limited and pregnant women and their newborns are left especially at-risk.

 


Thankfully, over 50,000 pregnant and breastfeeding women won’t have to experience nor fear this danger, since you helped provide them with the tools and know-how they need to have safer births and healthier starts.

 

One of these women is Salifa, and this is her story.

Salifa and her newborn daughter enjoy using Plan-provided supplies.

“This mat on which the baby and I are resting is one of the items I received in the ‘Dignity Kit’,” says Salifa, a happy new mom who gave birth to a healthy baby girl (just one week prior to this photo), thanks in part to your support.

In the months leading up to her birth, first-time expectant mother, Salifa, had no supplies stocked or plans solidified in preparation of the delivery of her baby.

Like many new parents living in developing communities, she and her husband were unable to afford purchasing added supports. Additionally, being in a rural and remote area, they had little awareness of what items were even required, and limited options for obtaining them.

And that’s where your sponsorship came in, stocking and distributing “Dignity Kits”.

One kit: critical care

 


“Dignity kits” are health care packages filled to the brim with vital items like:

  • A bathing bucket and kettle for purifying water
  • Wipes and cloths
  • Blankets and towels
  • Clothing
  • Soap and ointment
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Sanitary supplies such as toilet paper
 
Essentially, they equip parents with crucial items for raising a healthy, happy baby – and responses have been overwhelmingly positive from expectant moms and dads alike.

After hearing about the free kit distribution, Salifa shared the news with her husband, who was more than on board. “The idea was too amazing!” he reflects, with enthusiasm.

Feeling more encouraged than ever, Salifa went on to collect their kit, but when she did, was surprised to find even more than she expected.

A package deal

Kit distribution was stationed at a local clinic – a strategically chosen pickup site to promote seeking professional care.

While receiving her kit, Salifa simultaneously received consultations regarding her upcoming delivery, as well as advisement on available proper care. Together, this helped her effectively prepare for the birth of her first child.

“I realized I would have had a lot of difficulty during delivery without this kit. We are very happy because the items greatly helped us immediately after, and are still helping us now!” she says.

Thanks to you, Salifa was empowered with both the supplies and knowledge she needed to confidently begin her journey into parenthood – and she isn’t alone.

The kits continue to help incentivize more women to attend pre-natal checkups and have their births attended by skilled health workers. They’re also inspiring women’s partners to be more supportive throughout this process.

“Before, we use to register a very low turnout for pre-natal consultation and delivery in hospitals,” says local hospital director, Dr. Angaye. “But since the ‘Dignity Kit’ distribution program, the rate of pre-natal consultation and delivery has greatly increased.”

He attests that the number of visits has more than doubled since the introduction of the kits – something that’s helping reduce home births and save lives.

“We are very happy with the high increase in pre-natal consultation and deliveries in the health facilities,” says Dr. Foaka, the district’s Chief of Health. “We are appreciative of the support.”

Through your generous sponsorship, our staff is helping improve access to reproductive health services across 12 districts within Cameroon, including a refugee settlement where support is direly needed.

“Deepest wishes of thanks to the sponsors and hopes for them to continue providing to others in need,” shares Salifa, overjoyed to now have the greatest opportunity of all: seeing her little girl grow healthy and strong.

A group of roughly 20 women and men gather and smile holding Plan International supply-filled pails.

A happy group of women who’ve just received their kits from a local clinic.

Thank you for helping ensure safer births and better starts for both newborns, and new moms!

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