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Meet Kongsua Jeanne And Nkosse Lauren, Two Presidents Of Motorcycle Ambulance Management Committees in the Doume Health District.

As Health Areas are being empowered to tackle maternal mortality right from family and community levels, the Governement and its partners including the Islamic Development Bank and UNFPA have been providing funding and expertise to ensure that every child birth is safe. Parts of that investment have been dedicated in the acquisition of motorcycles to facilitate the transportation of pregant women from their home to the nearest integrated health center, particularly in case of obstetric emergency.  In the Doume health district, Sixteen (16) motorcycle ambulances, 36 trained motorcycle ambulance drivers and 12 Management Committee Chairpersons  were officially handed over and presented to the community on Tuesday, 17th March 2020.

To ensure the community based management, maintainance and proper functioning of these motorcycle ambulances, Management  Committees were set in place. Kongsua Jeanne and Nkosse Lauren are Chairpersons for the Motorcycle Management Committees (MMC) of Doume II and Nkoum, respectively. Doume II and Nkoum are two of the 12 health areas each running an intregrated  health centre in the Doume Health District. The others areas are Bayong 3, Dimako North, Dimako South, Doume I, Goumbegeron, Motcheboum, Ngandame, Ngomdouma, Petit Pol and Seguelendom.

Jeanne and Lauren, are among leaders identified by their respective communities and trained by UNFPA as MMC Chairpersons. “ I am the leader of a women’s association in my community called Coeur d’Amour Paki. We advice, encourage and support each other and above all work towards our economic empowerment thanks to our small scale commercial activities.” Thanks to this position, Jeanne was easily chosen by the community to represent them as Chairperson  of the MMC. “ When the supervisors  from the health district came to the community and asked who could be recommended by the people, many women called my name saying I am best placed to defend their interests. I accepted.” Says Jeanne.

On the 27th of February 2020, the Minister of Public Health, Dr. Manaouda Malachi, issued a circular on the community Management of the motorcycle ambulances. This document was aimed at informing each stakeholder on their roles and responsibilities with regards to this new endowment. MMC Chairpersons were not left behind. According to this document, they are in charge of ensuring the proper maintainance of the motorcycle ambulances by the community and that the procedures are respected during the use of motorcycle ambulances. Beside these, the Chairpersons are expected to follow up on the proper functioning of the referencing system from the community to the closest integrated health centre. All tasks Jeanne and Lauren are ready to handle.

“We are aware of our responsibilities. We will also continue sensitising our mothers and sisters on the importance of going to the hospital. Many preferred giving birth at home.” Says Lauren. According to Jeanne, these equipment will be a great tool to fight maternal mortality in her community “We used to loose a lot of mothers because they didn’t know how to get to the hospital, particularly in case of emergency . Now, we will encourage them more to go to the hospital because there is a well-equipped means available.”she says.

During the handing over ceremony, the MMC Chairpersons received the keys and official documents of the motorcycle ambulance(s) allocated to their health area. Thanks to the collaboration between the presidents and the motorcycle ambulance drivers, there is hope that the women of Doume, especially the estimated 1839 expecting mothers, will be able to enjoy safe birth henceforth.