Repeltec Partners with Finnish Baby Aid Kit
Repeltec is proud to support the Finnish Baby Aid Kit program, which decreases infant mortality and provides resources to expectant women and young mothers in vulnerable conditions.
The concept of the Finnish Baby Aid Kit is based on a long-running program in Finland. In the 1930s, Finland was a young country struggling with poverty and high infant mortality. One of the key issues was that pregnant women were not consulting medical professionals prior to giving birth. Moreover, equipment was improperly sterilized and there was a dearth of institutional knowledge regarding how to maintain a proper environment for newborns.
In response, the Finnish government devised a solution that involved the systematic provision of packaged baby products. To receive the kit, women were required to visit a medical professional three times for consultations and receive guidance during childbirth. Subsequently, the family would receive a material package of baby products to provide the new mother with the resources to take care of her child. The program has proved to be enormously successful, decreasing the infant mortality rate from 90 deaths per 1000 childbirths to 1.7, and has made Finland one of the safest places to give birth. (http://www.finnishbabyaidkit.eu/history/) And, the program continues to evolve and extend its reach beyond Finland.
Today, many countries around the world struggle with similar scenarios and have benefitted from the Finnish Baby Aid Kit concept as originally deployed in Finland in the 1940s. The Kit system is designed to prompt women to visit healthcare centers while pregnant and give birth under the guidance of a medical professional. In these contexts, the Finnish Baby Aid Kit program has also added extra resources for midwives to create a better environments for childbirth.
Most countries in Africa, Southeast Asia and South and Central America struggle with insect-borne diseases as well. This is where Repeltec adds an added dimension of protection to expectant mothers and newborns. Repeltec treats several items in the kits based on local needs, including mosquito net for babies, baby blankets, baby onesies and baby slings. Field-experienced officers within World Vision, UNICEF and IOM oversee and monitor the responsible distribution within high-need communities.
The mission of the Finnish Baby Aid Kit program is not simply to supply material goods and enhance the quality of childbirth in isolation, but to systematically alter the health practices of women in local communities and decrease the mortality rates of newborns and expectant mothers in the long term. In this way, mothers and their children build trust in the capacity of the local healthcare system and register their children with the local government. Registration provides children with a federal ID number essential for acquiring a passport, opening a bank account, starting a businesses, and accessing numerous other future opportunities.
Our Repeltec team is excited and honored to be part of such an amazing initiative.