Right now, in Tanzania, one of the leading, growing causes of hospital casualty admissions are motorcycle crashes, leading to many Tanzanian hospitals having designated "motorcycle crash" wards. Motorcycles have been used as taxis since 2010 in Tanzania and are a convenient way to get from A to B, however the lack of road safety and motorcycle maintenance training is causing a massive healthcare and social crisis.
That doesn't need to happen.
In Tanzania, over 24 women die in pregnancy and labour every day through preventable causes. 90% of Tanzanians live in rural villages so one of the major contributors to this problem is serious lack of reliable, available transport to bring these mamas from their homes to the hospital.
At the same time, numerous specialist motorcycle ambulances are lying in a dilapidated state all across the country. They are no more than 2-3 years old and often have barely clocked up more than a few hundred kms on average, but due to a lack of maintenance and management, many of them no longer run. These motorcycle ambulances have already proven themselves before and could once again, quickly and cheaply retrieve women from their homes to give birth in hospital, saving lives every day, saving thousands of lives a year, but right now, they just sit while women die and families are broken.
We want to change this. We have the skills and expertise to address both of these problems right now. We also have the enthusiastic cooperation of the local health authority, who have not had access to organised maintenance before now. Through generous support, we've already crowdfunded the build of a motorcycle maintenance workshop in Mwanza plus tools. The workshop is ready for its first batch of apprentices. We've been asked to help fix and run our first 4 motorcycle ambulances in our neighbouring district, Sengerema, but there's a challenge to overcome first, namely raising the money we require to refurbish these bikes and run them for 1 year. If you would like to help us reach this target, we would be hugely grateful for any donations here.
If you'd like to hear the (20 minute) story of why and how we do what we do, click here to watch Claire's PINC conference talk, 2017.