Authors: Hundley, V., Avan, B., Graham, W., Blencowe, W. and Lawn, J.

Pages: 1-17

Publisher: Immpact

Place of Publication: Aberdeen


The Clean Birth Kit (CBK) Country Level Decision Support Tool has been produced by the Birthing Kit Working Group. It aims to enable based decision making for policy makers and programme managers who are considering the potential role of clean birth kits in their strategy for care at birth in developing countries.

Achieving clean birth requires the application of skills by the care provider and the availability of a few essential supplies. For several decades clean birth kits (CBKs) have been recommended by many agencies as a means of ensuring those supplies. Early guidelines for birth kits were produced by the World Health Organisation (WHO), while more recent guidelines have been produced by the Programme for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH). The WHO has supported CBK use as a means by which to explicitly "strengthen standards of cleanliness" in home deliveriesand within health facilities that lack the capacity to sterilize equipment.

It is estimated that clean birth practices at home would reduce maternal mortality from infections by a median of 20%, and neonatal mortality from tetanus by 30%, and other neonatal infections by a median of 15%. If a skilled attendant was present at a home birth, clean delivery practices could reduce maternal mortality from sepsis by a median of 35%, mortality from neonatal infections by a median of 23% and from tetanus by 35%. In a facility, clean deliver practices were estimated to reduce maternal mortality from sepsis by 55% and neonatal mortality from infections by a median of 27% and from tetanus by 38%.

The purpose of this decision support tool is to provide a practical tool, which is based on the available data. It is intended for use by decision makers at national and sub-national level, specifically those planning the overall strategy for care at birth, which would include moving births into facilities and improving supply and demand of commodities at the lowest level of community and facility health care.

Source: Manual

Preferred by: Vanora Hundley