Transaid receives largest ever grant to improve access to vital maternal healthcare

International development charity Transaid has been awarded funding of £1.83 million from Comic Relief to run its largest ever project, which will provide vital access to maternal health services in Zambia. It follows just months after Transaid secured its first ever grant from Comic Relief; £1 million to set up a five year Emergency Transport Scheme in Adamawa State, Nigeria.

The funding will enable the charity to continue its life-changing work, improving access to healthcare and increasing the number of babies born in health facilities. The programme aims to increase use of maternal and newborn health services among rural communities by supporting government partners to scale up a community engagement approach tested and implemented between 2010 and 2013.

The MORE MAMaZ project is an extension of the successful Mobilising Access to Maternal Health Services in Zambia (MAMaZ) programme managed and implemented by Health Partners International ( ) and funded by UKaid from the UK Government. This latest grant will allow Transaid, in partnership with HPI and Zambian organisations Development Data and Disacare, to introduce the programme in five districts and scale up the activities over the next two and a half years.

Skilled attendance at birth is considered by the UN to be the single most critical intervention for ensuring safe motherhood, as the timely response of emergency care to both mother and baby can radically increase survival if life threatening complications arise.

Transaid will be working with its partners and the Ministry of Community Development Mother and Child Health to help communities run their own emergency transport schemes. MORE MAMaz will build on the bicycle ambulances and ox-carts distributed during the original MAMaZ programme and continue to use low cost but effective means of transport to transport expectant mothers to health facilities.

Caroline Barber, Transaid’s Acting Chief Executive, says: “The huge rise in the number of births being attended by skilled professionals made the MAMaZ programme one of the most successful that Transaid has been involved in. We are delighted Comic Relief recognised this and has given us the means to continue this valuable work.

“We’re incredibly proud of our achievements with the original MAMaZ project and we hope to be even more successful with MORE MAMaZ.”