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‘Donkey Ambulances’ developed to carry Afghan women in labor

in Afghan Business

‘Donkey Ambulances’ developed to carry Afghan women in labor

donkey ambulancesA donkey saddle has been invented by the British charity HealthProm to carry women in labor across Afghanistan’s difficult terrain so that they can get the medical care they require.

Afghanistan has a high concentration of donkeys. Up until today donkeys have been used for transportation purposes, for carrying goods and even for suicide attacks.

This time donkeys promise to help Afghan women in labor in remote areas of Afghanistan where mountainous areas and lack of transportation means lead to many pregnant women choosing to give birth at home, raising the risks should complications arise.

Peter Muckle, the designer of this special donkey saddle, said his invention provides a light-weight and comfortable way for women in labor to get the medical attention they need.

“HealthProm found that there was no comfortable way for women to travel in order to give birth,” Radio Liberty quotes Muckle. “And they also found that if they did give birth in the health centers there was much more chance for them surviving.”
The design was finalized after four prototypes were assessed and tested over the past one year in Charkent, a mountainous district in the northern Balkh province.

According to HealthProm’s officials, the feedback so far has been positive.

“The donkey saddle is very safe, and secures the pregnant woman during her transfer to the health center,” Radio Liberty quotes Dr. Azada Parsa, the project manager of HealthProm’s Safe Motherhood Project in Mazar-e-Sharif, Balkh. “They are very happy with this saddle, and they are coming to the health center all the time while they are in labor.”

The charity organization is in search of donors to fund further production and distribution of the saddle that costs USD 120.

Parsa hoped that the invention would encourage more Afghan women in villages to make the long journey rather than giving birth at home in unhygienic conditions and in the absence of access to medical expertise.

Afghanistan has some of the highest maternal and infant mortality rates in the world.

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