A free ride-share service has been launched by Birth for Humankind to support pregnant women experiencing socio-economic disadvantage or complex needs overcome barriers to safely access health care, services and essential appointments.
The Melbourne not-for-profit has partnered with all-women ride-share service Shebah to deliver free and safe travel for its clients to hospital appointments and other maternity services during COVID-19 restrictions.
Ruth Dearnley, CEO of Birth for Humankind, says that this initiative is a response to concerns and barriers pregnant women are facing when accessing maternal health care services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Under normal circumstances, pregnant women experiencing social and economic hardship face a number of barriers which prevent them from accessing maternity care. Over the past weeks, we’ve seen an increase in barriers preventing our clients from going to antenatal and postnatal appointments due to COVID-19,” said Ms Dearnley.
“One of these new barriers includes a fear of using public transport and lack of access to alternative transport options. We’ve seen fewer clients accessing clinical care and attending appointments due to these unfamiliar settings and protocols, a lack of personal support and concerns about being in public settings. Not being able to access this clinical care poses significant risks for long-term maternal and child health outcomes.
“Partnering with Shebah allows our clients to be comfortable, confident and able to overcome transportation barriers during this pandemic so they can access the essential services and care that they and their baby need.”
“To offer this comfort to another woman is an honour, it’s a joy and one we absolutely relish at Shebah. Birth for Humankind is an extraordinary organisation”, said Georgina McEnroe, CEO of Shebah.
To sustain this in the long-term, Birth for Humankind are asking for public donations so that pregnant women with complex needs can continue to safely access maternity care and support services. For more information or to donate, visit www.birthforhumankind.org/donate
- Julia Macerola on 0422 337 332 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Jackie Hanafie on 0412 652 439 or email@example.com
About Birth for Humankind
Birth for Humankind is a Melbourne-based not-for-profit that aims to achieve equitable maternal health and wellbeing for all by providing and advocating for respectful pregnancy, birth and early parenting support for women experiencing socioeconomic disadvantage.