Imagine being in labour, delirious with malaria or breaking a leg and the closest clinic is more than half a day's walk in the searing heat or pitch black of night. This was the reality for the communities we work with. But not any more.
Last year our two ambulances were a lifeline for over 36,000 people and safely delivered 571 patients, 335 of them women in labour, to the medical teams at one of two local clinics.
It costs just £4,000 to operate and maintain each of our two motorbike ambulances for one year, this breaks down as £14 patient.
Last November, Angelina was at home when her waters broke and labour began. She was in Cogolo, 25km from Mucojo clinic. The ambulance quickly arrived and collected both Angelina and Laura, a traditional birth attendant. On the way to Mucojo our driver heard Laura scream, "the baby has fallen" - fearing the worst he slammed on the breaks but luckily the new baby had been safely delivered in the side-car of the motorbike ambulance! With his basic first aid training, he helped Laura with the baby and they continued to Mucojo where another baby girl was born; twin girls! Both Laura and one of the babies were very ill for several weeks, but made a good recovery and now both of the girls, Nfaranca and Hawage, are beautifully chubby and healthy. Had they been born on the side of the road, like so many women have done, their chances of survival would have been dramatically lower.