Comic Relief has awarded Transaid a five-year £1 million grant, which the charity will use to support its Emergency Transport Scheme in Nigeria.
It trains local taxi drivers and encourages them to transport women in labour to health centres either free of charge, or at minimal cost.
Transaid’s scheme has already helped 10,000 pregnant women in Africa access medical facilities while giving birth.
“In just one year 287,000 women die as a result of pregnancy-related complications around the world, and shockingly, 14 per cent of these deaths are in Nigeria alone,” said international grants health programme manager at Comic Relief, Harriet Cochrane.
“Many of these deaths could have been avoided if the women had been able to reach a health facility for their delivery.
“Transaid is tackling a very real public health need by setting up a system that will be in place long after the project has finished. The scale and ambition of the project is huge, but we’re confident that it will bring about the changes it is planning, and save many lives in the process.”
The announcement was made at Transaid’s 15th anniversary celebration last night at Buckingham Palace. The event was hosted by Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal.