Home Health & Fitness Maternal Health In Times Of COVID19 – Bolt Offers Free Rides To Expectant Women During Curfew Time

Maternal Health In Times Of COVID19 – Bolt Offers Free Rides To Expectant Women During Curfew Time

by Femme Staff
0 comment

When COVID-19 came about, the immediate thought on just about everyone’s mind as we all tried to understand the virus was the respiratory health bit of it. But over the last month as the disease marches on, new and varied ripple effects of the disease are coming up. It has now since become not only a medical issue, but also legal, economic and social.

When new laws to combat COVID-19 were announced by Government, they brought with them a host of unprecedented challenges in the country. One such law is the dusk to dawn curfew which has had a huge effect on other aspects of health other than COVID-19. One of the many affected areas is maternal and obstetric health, seeing that when labour comes calling, its not like the affected women have the luxury to choose between day and night, or the luxury to buy time until morning to visit a hospital.

The dusk to dawn curfew was announced with no immediate fallback plan for pregnant women. That’s how come we have an unfortunate case here and there of a woman losing her baby because she’s unable to access a health center in good time. Taxi and bodaboda riders have understandably been afraid to pick rides because there has been no cushioning for them should they be caught on the wrong side of the curfew laws.

In an extremely unfortunate case for example, we have the case of Khamisi Juma Bega, the bodaboda rider from Kwale who took an expectant mother to hospital and was beaten up by police on his way back home at night. That beating is said to have resulted in his very unnecessary death.

It is with this in mind that taxi hailing app Bolt has partnered with Kenya Healthcare Federation 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. The initiative seeks to provide access to hospitals for women who might have obstetric emergencies during curfew hours, reducing maternal deaths during COVID -19 pandemic.

Bolt will work in liaison with existing call centers which will be manned by medical personnel who can be able to screen and assess the severity of cases and advise on nearest facilities 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.

The partnership will see Bolt work with government authorities, corporate and other responsible private stakeholders to ensure easy flow of this programme for all the public.

“The status of curfew has created anxiety among expectant women should they go into labour 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 labour 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.

“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 has offered to support with taxi fumigation and linkage to ambulance services.

Related Posts

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.