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.
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.
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.