Why do we need maternity packages?

Originally Finnish mothers received their maternity packages by seeing a doctor during their pregnancy, and that’s what we are going to do in Mufindi too: the maternity package is received only after an HIV-test.

“Mother to mother” is a project that asks mothers in Finland to donate their used maternity packages to another mother in a developing country. The packages will be sent to a small village in Tanzania called Mufindi. The project’s target audience is pregnant women, and the goal is to prevent HIV-contractions from a mother to her child.

There are two reasons why we need maternity packages. The first one is that, believe it or not, it can also be cold in Africa. Mufindi is situated in the Tanzanian Southern Highlands at 2,000 meters. Therefore most homes do not have electricity or running water, let alone heating, so the nights especially can be very cold. That’s why the baby clothes in the maternity packages will truly be needed and, as in Finland, the box can be used as the baby’s first bed.

You might think that our goal would be easy to reach only by sending HIV-tests and medicines to Mufindi. However, that’s easier said than done. In Tanzania, people have strong belief in witchcraft, so the witch doctors are often asked to heal all kinds of diseases, including HIV/AIDS. Therefore, the maternity packages will also be used as a “lure” to get the mothers to come see a western doctor instead of a witch doctor.

The Mother to mother –project will let you help another mother on the other side of the world both in short- and long-term.

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