Every day in Nigeria, mothers and babies die during childbirth. UNICEF reports that every single day, Nigeria loses about 2,300 under-five year olds and 145 women of childbearing age. This makes the country the second largest contributor to the under–five and maternal mortality rate in the world.
Adepeju Jaiyeoba, founder and CEO of Mother’s Delivery Kit (MDK), believes that a lot of these deaths are avoidable through the use of clean, sterile equipment and basic training of birth attendants. That is what inspired her to start her social enterprise aimed at promoting and enhancing safe births and to economically empower women in Nigeria.
Based in Lagos, Nigeria, MDK provides a sterilized ultra-affordable delivery kit containing essential supplies a woman requires at childbirth to ensure she has a clean, safe and hygienic delivery. The company supplies birthing kits to health centers, hospitals, university teaching hospitals, maternal and child health organisations.
These lifesaving kits include a sterilized, disposable, super-absorbent delivery mat, as well as an infant receiver. By making the kits available to women, the company ensures that they connect the woman in need at childbirth to the clean, hygienic and safe lifesaving supplies she needs.
The startup boasts in a 70% increase in antenatal and immunization attendance in communities where they work and according to the MDK website, no new cases of maternal and infant deaths have been recorded by the pregnant women or health facilities that use these kits.
Jaiyeoba has also received a $25,000 grant from the US African Development Foundation to set up storage facilities and strengthen supply chain lines for delivery, so more kits can get into the hands of more moms faster. Today, her innovative kits containing affordable, sterile supplies are in 30 out of 36 states in Nigeria and has reached more than 50,000 women and babies.
“In addition to supplying the kits, we also train the TBAs, provide immunization calendars and carry out evaluation of impact. Because of our partnerships with local manufacturers, we are able to retail the kits at an affordable and competitive price, while still making a profit,” she adds.
“We aim to begin a cycle of health and well-being that stretches beyond the homes and the attendants we work with while also strengthening local women’s organisations and community health workers’ involvement in health care.”