Gates Foundation Backs Hospital Transportation for Expectant Mothers – NYTimes.com

Can smart grants improve infant mortality through transportation?

Sending expert committees to visit village chiefs, he said, has turned many into advocates for getting women to clinics instead of giving birth with untrained local midwives who may be unable to diagnose pneumonia or who have habits that cause tetanus, like cutting umbilical cords with dirty blades.

Dr. Parker described how his agency helped set up a village meeting that produced a way to get women in labor to hospitals when they had no money. He expected villagers to donate funds. Instead, local minibus-taxi drivers proposed a deal: They would carry the women at no charge if, once they arrived, they were allowed to jump the line for paying passengers headed back home.

via Gates Foundation Backs Hospital Transportation for Expectant Mothers – NYTimes.com.

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3 thoughts on “Gates Foundation Backs Hospital Transportation for Expectant Mothers – NYTimes.com

  1. brindyjean says:

    I am impressed with this intervention for many reasons. First off, infant mortality is a tremendous challenge for impoverished nations. I feel that it is one of the first issues that should receive attention because by achieving lower rates of infant mortality other issues are solved indirectly. The second reason why i find this intervention so impressive is that it is very simple. Often, I feel like NGO’s, humanitarian organizations, etc. seek out to impose interventions that are far too complex. This intervention is simple but effective. In addition it is very low-cost. Lastly, it is sustainable. It even has the potential to change cultural opinions as taxi drivers begin to consider it a priority to get pregnant mothers to the hospital.

    Here is a TedTalk that talks about the best ways to give aid to other countries. It is something I certainly agree with and feel that this example exemplifies.

  2. svanmaanen says:

    Often times a difficult part of improving health in developing countries is overcoming prejudices or misconceptions like the one mentioned in the article against wives or newborns leaving the house. Also when it comes to fighting disease in the developing world, a simple solution combined with more information about the disease is usually the most effective. In a microbiology course I took recently, we discussed using cloth filters made from old clothing being just as effective as modern filters in cleaning water in poor villages in Bangledesh (http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn3258-old-clothes-filter-out-cholera.html). Teaching the people in the village more about the transmission the disease and encouraging them to use the cloth filters was cheaper than and probably more effective than providing them with expensive filters. The cloth filters and solutions like the one discussed in the article are simple and effective ways of improving health in developing countries.

  3. Laura Riley says:

    One of the major MDG’s that is lacking, especially in Africa, is maternal and infant health and mortality rates. I think this initiative is a great idea. I believe that a taxi drivers condition to jump the line is a simple request to help provide women with clean facilities and knowledgeable doctors and nurses. With the Gates Foundation backing this initiative through an NPO I believe that it will be able to be sustainable, like brindyjean has pointed out. To create a system that will help sub-Saharan Africa develop greater success in these MDG’s will provide a solid basis on which to expand throughout other countries in Africa and around the world. I hope to see this progress to fulfill goals and help mothers and children to be healthy.

    this link http://one.org/c/us/issue/15/ shows more issues related to maternal and child health that give statistics as well as a possible solution.

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