Nurses on Motorbikes to Reduce Mother and Infant

Just Peoples

Supported beneficiary groups within Women & Girls
Age Demographic
Early childhood - aged under 6
Project Focus
Project Area

Project Description

Malawi faces one of the highest maternal mortality ratios globally, currently estimated at 5.7 maternal deaths per 1,000 live births. Heartbreakingly, 1 out of every 37 babies born in Malawi still dies in the first month of life.

Expectant mothers encounter significant challenges accessing maternity healthcare. Public transport is either prohibitively expensive or non-existent, making it almost impossible to reach a clinic during an emergency.

With professional medical care unavailable, preventable deaths remain a significant concern for women, girls and children in Malawi during pregnancy, childbirth and early life. High maternal mortality rates are attributed to prematurity, complications during pregnancy and childbirth, severe postpartum bleeding, or infections such as sepsis.

This program sees nurses driving motorbikes through rough, challenging terrains to reach the most isolated and at-risk patients. Nurses conduct home visits in villages where there is no maternal and infant care services, no public transport, and no presence of nurses or midwives. The program’s overarching vision is to ensure that no pregnant woman or child under 5 is more than 30 minutes away from emergency care, thanks to the dedicated nurses stationed on motorbikes in rural villages, readily available for callouts.

Funding this project will enable nurses on motorbikes to provide a year of essential health care to 100 mothers and their infants.

Expected Outcomes

Supporting this project will give 100 babies regular, comprehensive care, and ensure their mothers are well taken care of and able to have peace of mind throughout pregnancy, birth and postnatally too.

Comprehensive services include measuring pregnant women's weight to monitor fetal growth, checking fetal heartbeat, and monitoring blood pressure; referrals for initial antenatal care tests for syphilis, HIV, and anemia. Expectant mothers are encouraged to complete four Ministry of Health-recommended Antenatal Care visits and deliver at a health facility. Postnatal care is provided within 48 hours after discharge, followed by ten scheduled visits until the child turns five.

In addition to the health outcomes for the 100 mothers and babies supported, the program will encourage health seeking behaviour amongst women and their children for generations to come and provide much needed women role models with the highly skilled nurses on bikes visible in the community.

Since the nurses on bikes program began in 2016, it has proven highly effective. 95% of women have received postnatal care within 24 hours of giving birth, 60% of pregnant women have registered for antenatal care in their first trimester, and 80% of children with concerning symptoms have been attended to within 24 hours.

Project Data & Lessons

Each Just Peoples project is designed and delivered by a local leader from the country of implementation in collaboration with their local community. All Just Peoples project leaders are part of a global community of 16 leaders who are all tackling poverty in their local communities and share learnings between them.

This project will be led by Mercy Kafotokoza, a nurse, midwife and public health expert in rural Malawi. Mercy adapts and strenghtens the nurses on bikes program based on her learnings from each mother and baby supported.

Those interested in funding this initiative have the opportunity to meet directly with Mercy via video call. They'll be able to learn more about the project and the local context for women in rural Malawi and determine whether supporting this project will help them meet their goals of contribution.

Following the delivery of this program, the project funder will have the opportunity again to meet directly with Mercy to hear her reflections about the impact that the nurses on bikes initiative has had for the vulnerable mothers in her community and their babies.

Project Dates

The nurses on motorbikes program is ongoing

Funding Details

Funding Needed
Current Funding
Total Project Costs
Approved Tax Deductability Status
Approved Tax Concession Charity
Other Funding Sources
Private donors and family foundations
Other Support Opportunities
Not Interested

Organisation Details

Just Peoples
ABN: 25634335130


Johanna de Burca
Phone: 0474977140

About Just Peoples

We believe in a world without poverty. Where communities have the power to solve their own problems, their own way.

We don’t believe that foreign intervention is the key to solving poverty. We believe that real, sustainable change comes about when people are given the resources to lift their own communities out of poverty. We tackle global poverty by backing grassroots leaders to design and deliver locally appropriate solutions to the challenges their communities face. Just Peoples currently supports 12 local leaders from across Africa and Asia who are bringing to life a wide-range of projects based on delivering gender-based, health, education, technological, and economic outcomes for people living in poverty. The leaders we support are effective because they have a deep understanding of the local context of poverty in peoples’ lives, and have established respected relationships in their communities. Their insight and expertise make them the best people to understand problems, and implement culturally appropriate solutions that work. So far we have supported 34 local leaders to deliver 202 grassroots projects globally, impacting the lives of over 240,000 people living in poverty.

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