Front Range Community College Blog

High School Students Save Lives with Birthing Kits

Who would have thought that a few supplies placed in a plastic sandwich bag could save three lives?

But those supplies do save lives, and students in two College Now-Career Pathways classes packed hundreds of those sandwich bags recently.

Students explore medical careers.

The students are in the Medical Careers Exploration class – high school students from Thompson and Poudre school districts. They earn high school credits and college credits during the school year in classes at Front Range. The Thompson students meet at FRCC-Loveland; the Poudre students at FRCC-Larimer Campus. On this day, they gathered as one at FRCC-Loveland to prepare these birthing kits for distribution in refugee camps in Uganda.

Expectant mothers need birthing kits.

Without these kits, mothers, their baby, and their birth attendant are turned away from hospitals to fend for themselves, the students were told. In areas where basic sanitation is missing, these kits can save lives.

“For every kit you make, you are saving three lives,” Merry Perry, Medical Careers Exploration faculty, told the students.

Simple items, powerful result.

Kit-3107Most of the items in the kit can come from a hardware store. It’s a simple assembly:

  • 3×3 plastic sheet
  • Two gloves
  • Five gauze bandage squares
  • A clean razor blade
  • String
  • Soap

The students sanitized their work areas, their scissors, and other supplies. Using good technique and gloves, they assembled the kits. The 70 students from the morning and afternoon sections of the class made at least 400 kits.

Zonta, Think Humanity provide supplies.

Zonta International and Think Humanity provided the supplies and oversee the distribution of the kits. Zonta, a service organization, empowers women through service and advocacy. Zonta has a club in Fort Collins. Loveland-based Think Humanity works to improve provisions for health care, water, education, and socio-economic development in Africa.

“We distribute the kits along with mosquito netting,” said Beth Heckel, founder and executive director of Think Humanity. “Women’s health depends on this.”

Project impresses students.

Hallie Unfred, a senior who attends Fossil Ridge High School, said, “We take it for granted to wash our hands or go to the doctor for a cold. These women have no supplies. These are supplies they need for a healthy life.” A senior, Hallie plans to major in nursing at Colorado Mesa University.

Maggie Libal, a junior who attends Poudre High School, said, “It’s a good feeling to help someone.” She wants to have a career helping people as a pediatrician.

Hallie, Maggie and their fellow students packed the birthing kits in large trash bags. In June, the birthing kits will be on their way to Uganda.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

John Feeley is director of public relations at Front Range Community College.