Improving access to maternal health services in Zambia through community based emergency transport schemes. MORE MAMaZ

Authors: MORE MAMaZ
Document Type: Policy and technical briefs
Publication Date: 2016

The Comic Relief-funded MORE Mobilising Access to Maternal Health Services in Zambia (MORE MAMaZ) programme was established in 2014 to support the government’s efforts to improve maternal and newborn health (MNH) access and outcomes. The programme empowered rural communities to tackle all barriers of access, including physical access barriers. The programme used non-motorised Intermediate Modes of Transport (IMTs), namely bicycle ambulances and ox carts. Community capacity to manage emergency transport system (ETS) was built to improve rural communities’ physical access to health facilities.

Intervention communities were able to access transport when previously it has not been available, affordable or was very slow. This intervention by MORE MAMaZ made a significant contribution to increasing access to and utilisation of essential maternal health services. The percentage of women delivering at a health facility increased by 25%. Between September 2014 and June 2016 , 3,467 women benefited from ETS in the programme’s five core intervention  districts.

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Tags: Zambia, Safe Motherhood Action Groups, Bicycle ambulances, Emergency Transport System, ETS, social support, community systems, community response, SMAGs, maternal and newborn child health, Intermediate Modes of Transport, IMTs, BAs, community empowerment, volunteerism, locally appropriate technologies, Referral system,