Taxi company Bolt, the leading on-demand transportation platform in Africa has partnered with Kenya Healthcare Federation (KFH) to offer expectant mothers free rides to enable them to have access to safe hospital deliveries during curfew hours.
The partnership dubbed Wheels for Life will see expectant women within Nairobi and its environs get free rides from their homes to the approved health facilities through Bolt for Business account that will be managed by the Kenya Healthcare Federation (KHF), the health sector board of the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA).
The initiative seeks to provide access to hospitals for women in labor who might have obstetric emergencies during curfew hours, reducing maternal deaths during COVID -19 pandemic.
“The status of curfew has created anxiety among expectant women should labor ensue during the night. There is thus an urgent need for proper systems to be in place to support them during pregnancy related emergencies. Our aim is to facilitate the movement of expectant mothers during emergencies related to labor from their homes to the approved health facility of their choice in a safe, convenient and timely manner. This is why we have a partnership that will see many expectant mothers get free rides to the hospitals throughout the curfew hours,” said Ola Akinnusi, Country Manager, Bolt.
The partnership will see Bolt work with government authorities, corporate and other responsible private stakeholders to ensure easy flow of this program for all the public.
Bolt will work in liaison with existing call centers which will be manned by medical personnel that can be able to screen and assess the severity of cases and advise on nearest facility and aid in getting transport to them during the night time.
Near-term women, with birth plans in place will be provided with stamped documents from the relevant authorities and hospitals to enable them and their partners passage on the road as they rush to hospital. They will be required to call a toll-free line (1196), in order to have access to these services.
“This is a multi-agency partnership that will see us work very closely with other agencies including the police such that when a call is made, they be informed, and where possible, facilitate the process of reaching the patients who are in labor and in taking them to the needed hospital for care,” added Ola.
Other partners in this initiative include AMREF Enterprises & AMREF Health Africa, University of Nairobi, Telesky Kenya – providing toll-free call center, Rescue.co – providing a wide network of ambulance and security dispatches across Kenya, and Nairobi Metropolitan Services – that offered to support with taxi fumigation and linkage to ambulance services.