Expectant mothers in Kenya can now get to the hospital for any pregnancy related emergency for free. Wheels for Life, a product by the Ministry of Health, now offers free transportation for pregnant women in cases of emergency during curfew hours.
To get the service, applicable during the 7pm to 5 am curfew period, those in need can call 1196 toll free. Other than transportation to a hospital, the service also allows those with pregnancy emergencies to consult doctors for free.
The service comes in handy for women in pregnancy as the coronavirus related regulations have rendered access to most of the much needed assistance during pregnancy difficult.
Two weeks ago, in neighbouring Uganda, a mother died as she struggled to get to hospital on foot. Due to strict lockdown regulations, she was unable to get emergency transport to the hospital. She lost her unborn baby before getting to the hospital only to succumb to the resultant complications a day later.
The Ministry of Health rolled out Wheels for Life in collaboration with other service providers including AMREF Health Africa, popularly known as the flying doctors and online taxi operator Bolt.
Other partners are KEPSA; Rescue.co – a network of first responders in the country; TeleSky – a digital call centre; University of Nairobi; Nairobi Metropolitan Services, and the Kenya Healthcare Federation.