EQUINES ROCK!!!!! ~Declan
By Horsetalk.co.nz on Oct 08, 2013 in Focus
The innovative new Donkey Ambulance, developed by British non-governmental organisation HealthProm and designer Peter Muckle, aims to minimise delays to accessing healthcare facilities. It provides greater comfort and helps protect both the mother and unborn child on the journey from the villages to the health centre.
|The Donkey Ambulance has been created to help save lives in |
countries such as Afghanistan.
HealthProm started its project to reduce maternal and newborn deaths in one remote, mountainous district in the north of Afghanistan in 2008.
The design is now at the testing and evaluation phase, after which it will be reproduced locally by Afghan artisans for use in the villages.
Maternal deaths are ten times higher than the number of civilians killed in conflict. Afghanistan has the highest maternal death rate in the world, at 1575 per 100,000 births.
One woman in every eight dies of pregnancy related causes and one in four children dies before his or her fifth birthday. The situation is even worse in remote areas. Research shows that the causes of newborn and maternal deaths can be attributed to a number of key factors, including absence of emergency transport to take women in labour to health centres.
In mountainous regions, bumpy tracks make motorised or wheeled transport extremely difficult.
Stewart Britten, project co-ordinator at HealthProm, said: “Afghanistan has probably the highest maternal mortality ratio in the world and a major factor in this is the delay in seeking a skilled birth attendant.
“If a low-cost solution works sustainably, with local production using largely locally available materials, we hope that the reduction in mortality figures will lead to its replication in other parts of Afghanistan and other very low-income countries with similar terrain.”
The Donkey Ambulance was showcased at the recent Conference on “Appropriate Healthcare Technologies for Developing Countries: Low-cost, frugal technology medical devices” organised by the Institute of Mechanical Engineering in London.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that as much as three quarters of all medical devices in the developing world do not function because the vast majority are built specifically for Western markets.
Expensive and difficult to replace parts, the need for a constant electricity supply, a lack of trained operators or their unsuitability to rough terrain are all factors preventing the use of these devices in the developing world.