As part of a joint effort to participate in the UN’s Millennium Development Goal for a reduction in overall worldwide maternal death rates, the healthcare logistics charity Motorcycle Outreach has created a ground-breaking project called ‘Precious Cargo’. The project will be launched at Hampton Court Palace, London, on Saturday 28th September 2013. The project has been developed in partnership with StudentMidwife.Net, the Nationwide Association of Bloodbikes, together with RCM student and practicing midwives and other healthcare workers around the country.
The objective of ‘Precious Cargo’ is to send a scroll on a global journey visiting those involved with midwifery starting with a tour of UK hospitals and maternity units collecting signatures (and donations) as it travels. As a boost to the project, Guinness World Records has created a new category for “Most Signatures on a Scroll” based on the Precious Cargo initiative and the project will be the first to set the world record.
Around the world, 800 women die of childbirth-related complications every day, many of which are avoidable, and those in rural areas are most at risk (WHO 2013). During childbirth, timing can be critical and for rural areas the geography of the landscape can mean that there are significant challenges for professionals to get to those in need.
Motorcycle Outreach works with Health Ministries and local projects in developing countries to provide properly managed and maintained motorcycles for use by healthcare workers. This enables mobile teams to provide health care to people living in remote villages where road access is poor. The purpose of the Precious Cargo project is to raise funds to enable Motorcycle Outreach to be able to continue to support its existing project and expand its operations to other parts of the world.
The idea is based on a previous fund-raising project run by the Women’s International Motorcycling Association that raised £35,000 for the street kids of India.
Regional members of the Nationwide Association of Blood Bikes in England and Scotland will be supporting the project by providing a “courier service” for the scroll (the precious cargo) between hospitals. The student midwives/midwives will facilitate the signing of the scroll during its 48 hour visit at each location.
The scroll’s journey starts from Hampton Court Palace, London, on Saturday 28th September 2013. From there, it will do a tour of approximately 40 hospitals across the country until the end of November. The UK tour will be a “pilot” project and if successful, the scroll will embark on an international tour that is expected to begin in the New Year. This will include a visit to the International Confederation of Midwives triennial conference in Prague in 2014 to promote the project to the ICM’s 108 member countries.
The project is supported by the RCM, the UK Association of Milk Banks (UKAMB), Association of Radical Midwives (ARM), White Ribbon Alliance and by prominent figures in the midwifery profession including Sheena Byrom OBE, a leading independent midwife, and Frances Day Stirk, President of the ICM.
The website for the project can be found at www.precious-cargo.org . People who sign the scroll will be invited to make a donation either locally during the visit or online to Virgin Money Giving, reached via the Precious Cargo website. For more information, contact the project coordinator, Ron Common at firstname.lastname@example.org
I very much hope that having read what a brilliant idea this is and what a great thing Motorcycle Outreach are trying to achieve, you’ll support them – even if it’s with just a couple of quid.
Not heard of Motorcycle Outreach (MoR) before?
Motorcycle Outreach (MoR) was established in 2005. MoR continues the work of the late Simon Milward, the round the world motorcyclist. Simon, inspired by the outstanding work of ‘Riders for Health’ in Africa, helped establish a motorcycle based healthcare logistics project on Flores Indonesia in 2002. MoR will be developing its mission in 2013 and in addition to continued support for the project in Indonesia is planning to support, or assist the establishment of similar projects in other parts of the world. MoR is a UK registered charity (no 1114675) and is managed entirely through voluntary activity from its trustees and supporters.