TRANSAID, NIGERIA

Every day, approximately 800 women die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth and 99% of all maternal deaths occur in developing countries (WHO). Physical access to health services and medicines is critical for reducing maternal, neonatal and child mortality rates. We are working in partnership with Transaid to tackle this urgent issue. Transaid will implement a pioneering emergency transport scheme in Nasarawa State (Nigeria) to safely transport pregnant women to health facilities.

In joint collaboration with the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and relevant government agencies, Transaid recruits and trains volunteer taxi drivers in six rural provinces of the Nasarawa State.  Pregnant women are encouraged to identify a driver as part of their birth preparedness planning.  Drivers are then contacted when transport is needed either by mobile phone, by sending a family member to the driver’s house, through a traditional birth attendant or through the NURTW focal person. 

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The emergency transport scheme has been designed to be sustainable, integrated and accepted by local communities, respecting the local culture and social customs, and help pregnant woman feel safe and comfortable during the service. Transaid’s long experience in delivering this emergency scheme across African countries has demonstrated that volunteer taxi drivers, albeit they are not formally payed, receive a widely diffused approbation by local communities and are hailed as local heroes.   

The partnership with the Puma Energy Foundation will support Transaid scaling up its emergency transport scheme in remote rural areas of Nigeria. Within 18 months, Transaid will coach 120 drivers, who are expected to transport over 1,600 women to health facilities.  

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