The Toto Care Box Africa Trust-Mission
We exist to protect, preserve and promote the health and well-being of newborns in their first 28 days of life.
The story began in 2012 in a little village called Marich in West Pokot, when Lucy Wambui Kaigutha, the founder of Toto Care Box was working as a public health researcher collecting data in integrated management of childhood illnesses. She had to conduct focus groups among women from this village. One mother stood out to her, she had 5 children her fifth barely 2 weeks old, and she had nothing.
This woman stayed in Lucy’s mind long after she came back from West Pokot, she knew she needed to do something for the mother and her baby.
One day she stumbled upon and article about “Why Finnish babies sleep in cardboard boxes” as she was browsing the internet, and that was the inspiration for the Toto Care Box. In Finland, babies have been sleeping in cardboard boxes since 1939 after the 2nd world war as a government initiative to reduce maternal and infant mortality. Currently Finland has the lowest maternal and infant mortality in the world. Lucy then decided to create the Toto Care Box tailored to Kenyan needs aimed at having a similar outcome.
A Toto Care Box will be offered as a free incentive to every mother who goes through the minimum four Ante Natal Clinics (ANC), where she will also go through certified training on use of the box, and gives birth in a health facility. The box is a maternal care package that contains items for the mother and the new born to ensure that the mother has what she needs to cater for her new born child for the first 28 days of life, which are the most critical. The items in the box have been chosen due to their possible impact on reducing the four-main causes of new born deaths in Kenya. These are: Malaria, Pneumonia, Diarrhoea, Gastroenteritis and Neonatal tetanus
Each Toto Care Box will be provided FREE to all mothers after completing the recommended four Antenatal Care (ANC) visits and delivering at a health facility. This is aimed at reducing infant and maternal mortality.
In order for new mothers to receive a Toto Care Box, they MUST attend at least FOUR prenatal check-ups where basic infant care information will be given.
Each mother will be educated on infant care, the first signs of diseases such as malaria and pneumonia, and personal hygiene to minimise postnatal infections.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
Each Toto Care Box costs $30 USD and contains these essential items i.e. two stickers, a box, a mattress, an under sheet, a blanket, a mosquito net, a set of 3 reusable nappies and 3 liners, a waterproof pant, a nappy fastener, Chlorhexidine gel for umbilical cord care, a diarrhea kit, cotton wool for both mum and baby, baby clothes made from gently used up-cycled adult t shirts, soap for hand washing, a leaflet with how to instructions plus a bottle of water purifier.
The Toto Care Box Africa Trust has given out 841 Toto Care Boxes to date. All our newborns use the Toto Care Boxes as beds, and all the mothers that get them say it has helped them look after their newborns. The vital education that comes with each Toto Care Box is life saving and we are seeing many more new mothers able to identify danger signs in their newborns due to this education.
We however, need your help to keep going, so we can change the narrative of maternal and newborn health in Kenya.