In countries with a high proportion of home births, delivery can be made safer by preventing infection through the use of a clean delivery kit (CDK). A CDK provides the necessary tools and instructions to achieve the World Health Organization's "Five Cleans" throughout the birthing process:
- Clean hands. Wash hands with clean water and soap, once before delivery, and once before cord cutting.
- Clean delivery surface. A plastic sheet for mothers to lie on during delivery maintains a clean birth canal and perineum, and protects the newborn from potential sources of infection.
- Clean cord cut. A new razor blade in its original packing is sterile, and can prevent the transmission of tetanus-causing spores and other pathogenic organisms via the umbilicus to the infant.
- Clean cord ties. Additionally, the use of clean thread or narrow tape to tightly tie the umbilicus helps keep the stump healthy.
- Clean cord stump care. Keeping the umbilical stump dry and clean is the best care. If soiled, the umbilical stump may be washed with soap and clean water.
Most births in rural areas of developing countries take place at home, often without medical assistance. The CDK can reduce maternal and child mortality. PSI offers clean delivery kits in Democratic Republic of Congo, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Uganda.
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Health Areas: Reproductive Health