Reduce Maternal and Infant Deaths in Rural Zambia



This project seeks to reduce maternal and child deaths by reducing the time it takes to transport expectant mothers living in isolated rural areas to local hospitals in Kawambwa, Zambia, which is located in Luapula Province. Luapula Province has the highest HIV/AIDS prevalence rate and highest maternal death rates in the entire country. The majority of child and maternal deaths happen during transport to the hospitals, which can be as far as 25 to 30 miles away through extremely rough terrain.

What is the issue, problem, or challenge?

In three rural health clinics in northern rural Zambia, 8% of babies die in childbirth. Most expectant mothers and babies die while they are being transported to the distant hospitals that have proper facilities while the mother is in labor. Others die during or shortly after giving birth in their homes, where poor sanitary conditions spread infections. Poor infrastructure, long distances to hospitals, and insufficient means of transportation cost lives. Many give birth while being transported.

How will this project solve this problem?

By providing "Zambulances," trailers that can be used to transport mothers in labor using motorbikes, we expect to dramatically decrease maternal health deaths in the district. Currently, the maternal death rate in Kawambwa is among the highest in Zambia. These trailers are produced in Zambia by a social enterprise called "Zambikes." They will be attached to motorbikes, which can then safely transport the expectant mothers to the nearest referral hospital.

Potential Long Term Impact

We hope to significantly reduce the number of expectant mothers and their children who seek care in our rural health clinics to zero by providing transport to facilities that can provide specialized care. We also seek to encourage more mothers to attend our Safe Motherhoods Action Group (SMAG), seek specialized pre-natal care, and plan to use the Zambulances during maternal emergencies and labor.

Funding Information

This project has been retired and is no longer accepting donations.


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Retired Project

This project is no longer accepting donations.

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Project Leader

Njira Mtonga Bweupe

Country Program Manager
Lusaka, Lusaka Province Zambia

Where is this project located?

Map of Reduce Maternal and Infant Deaths in Rural Zambia
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