Bikes Without Borders is a Toronto-based charitable organization that uses bikes as a tool for development and social change, addressing issues of poverty, education and healthcare.
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Maternal Health: “Malawi has one of the highest maternal mortality ratios (984 deaths per 100 000 live births) in the world.The risks of pregnancy are indicated by the words used to describe a pregnant woman in the local Chichewa language: either pakati(between life and death) or matenda(sick). In Malawi, behaviour at the village level can contribute to maternal mortality, for example, most births and deaths of pregnant women happen at home,and some behaviours within the community hinder timely and appropriate care-seeking.Community Healthcare Volunteers (CHV) ensure that all pregnant mothers are recorded, monitored and encourage safe practices by advocating prenatal and antenatal care, with the provision of nutritional supplements when available. Generally pregnant mothers would not access a healthcare facility to give birth due to the distance from their home that could mean walking 15km. Many pregnant mothers in Malawi keep their pregnancy secret for fear of losing the child and being a burden upon their family if it is known this could affect their lifestyle. The role of the CHV is crucial since any information shared is confidential. A pregnant mother is far more likely to disclose information to a CHV on a home visit rather than walking 15km to a healthcare facility where someone from the community might wonder what the purpose of their visit is. The CareCar bike ambulance is an excellent way to increase maternal health by ensuring that all pregnant mothers have access to transportation to a health facility when needed. Advocating emergency usage of the CareCar increases the usage and creates a safer environment for mother and child.”
(source: Pedal Powered Hope Project Phase I Report by BWB Program Director Kristen Corbet)