Ford Motor Company has done something amazing that everyone should be inspired by. Through their Sustainable Urban Mobility Uncompromised Rural Reach (SUMURR) program, they were able to help 1,600 people in the Tamil Nadu region of India. And all it took was one vehicle and a collaboration between them and their partners.
How did they do it?
In the rural areas of India, there are many pregnant women who don’t have access to a viable form of transportation that would allow them to be transported to a medical facility after giving birth. This disconnect with prenatal healthcare has resulted in the deaths of either the mother or the baby in 50% of the pregnancies. After the mother has a baby, nurses from surrounding clinics would have to travel on scooters or bikes over rocky terrain to get to them. From there, they would send data to another facility, but they would have no way of really connecting the patients to that information.
Ford was able to solve that problem by providing health care teams with laptops and cellphones that could connect them with doctors and medical records. They also provided them with a Ford Endeavor so that nurses could effectively reach and transport patients to quality healthcare provisions . This took place over a nine-month pilot program that successfully lead to the births of 42 children in 28 villages. In a place where the infant mortality rate is high and pregnant women are lucky if they receive any form of healthcare, this was certainly a step in the right direction. Now Ford is currently looking for ways they can help other parts of India go further.