What you need to know:
- Expectant women in Nyeri now have access to free transport to hospital.
- The partnership dubbed Wheels for Life is a partnership between Amref, the European Union among other organisations.
- It was started on April this year to serve women during the curfew hours.
- Initiative provides women with an emergency call number where they get medical assistance and if need be, an ambulance or taxi.
Expectant women in Nyeri now have access to free transport to hospital.
The partnership dubbed Wheels for Life is a partnership between Amref, the European Union among other organisations. It seeks to avail transport and any medical assistance to expectant women who may need emergency help.
It was started on April this year to serve women during the curfew hours. The initiative provides women with an emergency call number where they get medical assistance and if need be, an ambulance or taxi.
The Kenya Healthcare Federation CEO Dr Anastatia Nyalita said the night curfew had limited access to healthcare facilities, which posed a risk to the mothers.
“Key among the issues impeding its reduction is limited access to healthcare facilities, an impediment associated with the current night-time state curfew from 9 pm to 5 am,” she said.
“The pregnant women can call 1196 for free and get medical advice from doctors and in case of an emergency, they can get free transport to hospital,” she said.
“The main focus is to facilitate the movement of pregnant women from their homes to an approved health facility of choice. We also are aware that many pregnant women have questions and concerns that may be addressed via telephone by a healthcare provider,” she added.
President Uhuru Kenyatta issued a nationwide dusk-to-dawn curfew on March 27, saying the the measures were meant to protect the life of citizens. The curfew has been extended three times now. In Nyeri, at least 16,000 children are delivered annually.
Nyeri governor Mutahi Kahiga, however, said this did not take into consideration other emerging issues.
“This is part of our life and many of them may not afford to pay for vehicles to be taken to a hospital of their choice and it has gotten worse with the pandemic,” he said.
He urged that the services be extended to other members of the public who may need emergency help.
“As they are going into the villages to help the women, if they come across other people who need help they can also help so that we can ensure no one is disadvantaged,” he said.
Ms Nyalita, urged the police officers at roadblocks to be accommodative of people in need of emergencies.
“The initiative encourages awareness on the road by the police for any person who states they are rushing to the hospital for any medical, obstetric or surgical emergency. They should be provided documents on return home from the hospital for validity,” she added.