VANCOUVER -- A small B.C. charity is sending a life-changing gift to help expectant mothers in West Africa.

The Nanaimo-based international air medical transportation company Lifesupport is donating a $40,000 ambulance to the Korle-Bu Neuroscience Foundation.

The ambulance will be used to rush women to hospital during the most critical moments of childbirth.

"Right now seven young women die weekly in Liberia because they can't get to hospital to birth their babies, which also results in the tragic death of the child," said KBNF founder Marj Ratel. "Pregnant women have almost no support when something goes wrong during childbirth and many die on the roadside trying to reach a hospital. This ambulance is the best Christmas gift I can imagine."

It will also be used to transport and treat neuroscience patients. Along with the ambulance, an emergency first responder training program will be provided to Liberian paramedics—as specialized neuroscience and maternal healthcare are virtually non-existent in the region, according to KBNF.

"We realize the immediate need is to get expectant mothers to the hospital—quickly, while also providing front line training in emergency obstetrical care to the dedicated and fledgling group of new paramedics in Liberia," said Graham Williamson, a licensed Canadian paramedic.

"Even if the ambulance cannot transport the patient quickly enough, we will be equipping these dedicated first responders and paramedics with the skills they need to help expectant mothers and their newborns right away, by providing critical life-saving interventions before arrival at the hospital."

This is the first obstetrics-focused vehicle to be delivered to Liberia by KBNF. The organization previously shipped an ambulance to Liberia’s Ministry of Health last February.

"More than half of all emergency calls for our first ambulance were related to obstetrics," said Ratel.

The emergency vehicle will be transported to Liberia, in addition to an incubator, neurosurgical microscope and other life-saving medical equipment.

The charity is still hoping to raise an additional $50,000 to provide the proper training to first responders in Liberia.