Preliminary studies: Focus group discussions and a community survey indicated that inadequate funds and transport caused delays in deciding to seek emergency obstetric care and in reaching facilities. Interventions: Following improvements in the quality of obstetric services, a community loan program was established in early 1995. Community members determined its features: compulsory contributions; community administration; loans for obstetric complications only; no interest; a 6-month grace period; and 24-month repayment. A transport system was also established, in which private vehicle drivers agreed to respond to calls for emergency transport and charge a set fee. Results: The equivalent of US $20,500 was collected from 81 annual and 2273 one-time contributors. Eighteen loans were approved in 9 months. Repayment data are not yet available. For the transport system, 23 drivers pledged permanent participation and 58 pledged to take part in 6-month rotations. They transported 18 women. Costs: The cost of these interventions was $3409 for the loan fund and $2272 for the transport system. Sixty percent of the cost was paid by the community and the rest by the PMM project. Conclusions: Community-managed loan and transport systems for women with obstetric emergencies can be established and may contribute to reducing delay in obtaining emergency obstetric care.
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