Goodie Bags Putting babies on the road to health

Since April 2014 Western Cape Government Health has been bringing a smile to the faces of new mothers. Every mother who delivers her baby at District Hospitals and Community Day Clinics (CDC) in the Overberg District receives a free goodie bag which contains a wash cloth, bar of soap, disposable nappies, aqueous cream and has two pockets in the front for the Road to Health Card to be placed in.

Western Cape Government Health decided to start this initiative in the Overberg District when it became apparent that many mothers arrive at hospital without any toiletries for themselves or the baby and this led to some unhygienic practices.  Western Cape Government Health immediately started the process of distributing these goodie bags to new mothers, to ensure that they no longer have unhygienic routines. The first year of a baby’s life is extremely important in terms of health and development, not following the correct hygienic methods can put the baby at risk for many illnesses like diarrhoea. The fact that the Road to Health Card fits perfectly into the front pocket of the bag also ensures that mothers will be able to conveniently carry it with them. The Road to Health Card is an extremely important document because it is the instrument doctors and nurses use in measuring your child’s development. 

Thus far 2751 goodie bags have been distributed and we plan to have a total distribution of 3500 bags by the end of the year. Ms Alice Joseph who delivered her baby at Caledon Hospital on 10 July 2014 said: “This bag is a very good idea from the Western Cape Government, many mothers cannot afford to buy a baby bag so this bag helps them a lot. The bag can also be used for a long time, even when mothers go to the clinic with their babies or when they go out. I ‘m very pleased with the bag.”

Western Cape Government Health would like to remind all mothers to use the goodie bag to ensure that they always have their baby’s Road to Health Card with them when visiting any health facility.