Motorcycle Ambulances: Saving the lives of Kenyan mothers and babies

Across Africa, there is a massive disparity in the level of healthcare where those who live in rural parts of a country have limited access to health clinics as there are very few.

St John Ambulance Kenya is leading the way in saving the lives of mothers and babies, in some of the most remote places in Kenya, with their new innovative motorbike ambulances.

Around 300,000 women and 1 million newborn babies in Sub Saharan Africa die from medical complications during and shortly after birth. These deaths are often easily avoidable if mothers can just make it to a hospital.

One of the major challenges to prospective mothers in Kenya is the accessibility to health care resources. Consequently, St John Ambulance Kenya’s new motorcycle ambulances are a major step forward in the reduction of maternal and infant mortality within the country.

One of the communities where St John Kenya will be working in is Wayu Boro, a ‘forgotten community’ in Tana River County. The population of 13,000 people and income levels are extremely low, with a lack of government health services in the community. Only one health clinic exists but often fails open due to the lack of staffing or supplies. The nearest town and hospital is 60 kilometres away where the road is dangerous and plagued by wild animals.

Miss Hassan Dumo, a resident of Wayu Boro, Tana River County, recounts her experiences of how the remoteness of her region places mothers and their children in grave danger:

We have encountered our neighbours deliver by the roadside or on wheelbarrows because an ambulance cannot reach them as a result of bad terrain.

With the new motorcycle ambulances from St John Ambulance Kenya, in partnership with the French Embassy, will reduce medical response times and enable mothers to get to a hospital in time to give birth safely.

These new motorcycle ambulances are important in the battle to save the lives of some of the most vulnerable mothers and babies in Kenya. The new motorcycle ambulances in Kenya are another example of how St John is innovating in order to overcome the challenges it faces in serving the communities they operate in.