Genius Motorcycle Ambulance Idea Is Reducing Maternal Death Rate In Kenya


According to World Bank, Kenya’s maternal mortality rate in 2014 was 525 deaths for every 100,000 births. This statistics places Kenya among the most dangerous places in the globe for a woman to give birth.

Whilst there are several other challenges that contribute to high maternal mortality in Kenya, tough roads and long distances to health centers play a massive role in these analysis.

Particularly the road on the slopes of Mount Elgon which is steep and features a rocky and stony terrain. In this area, trucks and tractors have to drive maize and vegetables down the mountain to sell them in the town of Chwele and other parts of Kenya’s Western Province.

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Due to this challenges, motorcycles which is the predominant mode of transportation in this area have been saving the lives of expectant mothers. Serving as taxis and sometimes even carrying three people all at once, motorcycles have been the major means used in conveying women in labor. Every few minutes one whizzes into the hospital carrying a pregnant passenger.


Prior to the motorcycles, getting anywhere, even to the few health centers in the area, was done ultimately by foot. Patients and pregnant mothers had to trek long distances or be carried. Because of the difficulty of trekking, many women choose to deliver their babies in their houses with the help of traditional midwives.

To save pregnant women’s bacon, Chebet’s community through the initial support of USAID and Save the Children, ushered in a motorcycle ambulance initiative. Given that some motorcyclists are horribly careless in their services, community members carefully selected half a dozen consistently good and well grounded motorbike operators.

Each of the handpicked driver was appraised and had to have a license, insurance, and a mobile phone. He also must present evidence of ownership of the motorcycle and be available round the clock every day.

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Upon arrival at the health center, the motorcycle ambulance operator has his voucher signed by the nurse in charge, who then forwards it to Save the Children to process payment. And they are paid around $5 for every night trip and $3 for every daytime trip to the hospital.

Despite the fact that motorcycles are alleviating the hardship of accessing the hospitals, the journey isn’t all that rosy. Pregnant women still face the challenge of absorbing the pains that come from gallops as well potholes in the course of their journeys thanks to the rocky and rugged terrain of the area.

Also, the drivers though convey pregnant women even at odd hours including midnight complain that their highest drawback is rainy season as the roads get worst, sometimes making it difficult to get to the health center in time.

For this reason, Buzzkenya is urging the Kenyan government to look into the problems of these roads and do the needful for a better delivery of maternal services.