The Piki Piki, or motor taxi: risky business


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You have seen your SAHFA president on one, and that looks fun, but the piki piki, or motor taxi, is also how women with obstructed labour are transported to the hospital in the rural areas.

Such transport for a highly pregnant woman often becomes fatal, especially if labour has already started, or, worse, if  labour is obstructed. Ruptured uterus, baby dies, the mother often too. Horrifying, dramatic, tragic… and the baby dies unregistered, and the woman dies without the cause of her death (obstructed labour, ruptured uterus, heavy bleeding) registered anywhere.

Seen from the public health angle, this is a gap in the public health Management Information System that JamboMama! can close. Closing that information gap in itself helps at reducing this risk, for it makes the health practitioners completely aware of the extent and gravity of the problem, the first step to informed decision making.

Our app wants to prevent women from waiting too long by timely and efficient pregnancy monitoring and prompts that are tailored to the woman’s needs linked to her gestational stage and condition.

JamboMama! also seeks partnerships with projects to improve transport services to the hospital and with the popular brands of these Piki-Piki’s to request the design of a simple motor ambulance that is safer and more comfortable for the parturient women. These designs are already being developed. Again it is a question of coordinating and bringing together existing efforts, bridge the communication and progress sharing gaps.

In the Victoria Lake region, various ambulance projects are being developed. JamboMama! seeks to link up with them for coordination and optimal use of all efforts now being made to bring maternal mortality down in the Victoria Lake Zone.

Should any of you who read this be involved in such a project – improved ambulance services in West Tanzania and the design and construction of a piki piki ambulance for pregnant women, please contact us at

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