Meet Mallam – a star of the Emergency Transport Scheme
In just one year 287,000 women die as a result of pregnancy-related complications around the world, and shockingly, 14 per cent of these deaths are in Nigeria alone. In 2013 Transaid was awarded a five-year grant from Comic Relief to set up the Emergency Transport Scheme (ETS) in Adamawa State in the North East of the country, which has one of the poorest maternal, neonatal and child health records in the country. Many of these deaths could have been avoided if the women had been able to reach a health facility for their delivery.
This is where the ETS comes in. Working in partnership with Nigerian organisation Society for Family Health, this scheme encourages local taxi drivers from the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) to transport women to health centres free of charge or at minimal cost when they are faced with complications with their pregnancy.
Meet Mallam: Mallam Ardo is a member of the NURTW and is a trained ETS volunteer driver from Demsa in Adamawa State. Inspired by experience sharing from other ETS volunteer drivers during some training, Mallam decided to embark on a mass awareness campaign to promote the ETS and his availability to provide the service 24/7. His determination and dedication has meant Mallam received the award for third best performing driver in 2016 for transporting a total of 174 pregnant women to health facilities and enabling them to access medical services.
One night in March, Mallam received a distress call at two in the morning from a pregnant woman, Husaina, who needed immediate medical attention. He responded swiftly and with Mallam’s help, Husaina reached the health facility and gave birth to healthy triplets just an hour later. Mallam is now seen as an ETS champion, with the families he has helped incredibly grateful for his hard work and dedication.