Low-tech innovation saves lives in Malawi

Pregnant women in Malawi are encouraged to give birth in hospitals, but lack of transport can cause problems.

Women in Malawi are encouraged to move to a hospital or clinic in the eighth month of their pregnancy. 

Malawi has had one of the highest rates for neonatal and maternal mortality in the world. The Safe Motherhood Initiative took important steps to make childbirth safer for mothers and babies. 

Traditional birthing attendants were banned in the rural areas, and women are encouraged to give birth in hospitals where they can receive medical assistance. 

The problem arose of transporting women to hospital. Sometimes transport was either unavailable or too costly. 

Low-tech innovations, such as bicycle ambulances, have empowered communities to help pregnant women get to hospital in time to give birth. 

Lifelines: The Quest for Global Health profiles the extraordinary work of global health workers in their quest to rid the world of the deadly neglected diseases and conditions that keep millions of people in poverty.


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