Under the project, boda boda motorcycles are used as ambulances to transport the expectant mothers to health centers and hospitals for delivery.
The boda boda ambulance project established to help expectant mothers to access health facilities in Kyenjojo district is failing to bear fruits. The shillings 300 million boda boda ambulance project was launched by Kyenjojo health department late last year. Under the project, boda boda motorcycles are used as ambulances to transport the expectant mothers to health centers and hospitals for delivery.
The project was launched after it was found out that most women in the district were delivering at their home because of lack of ambulances to rush them to hospital and high transport costs. According to the project, each cyclist is given a fuel voucher of shillings 10,000 when they take an expectant mother for delivery to a health facility. However, the project has recorded minimal progress since it was launched.
Statistics at Kyenjojo district health department indicate that only 15% of the women in the district have given birth in health centers and at Kyenjojo hospital, since the project started. When Uganda Radio Network visited some health units such as Mukunyu and Bugaki Health Centre III, there was no record showing that any expectant mother had visited the units since the boda boda ambulance project was initiated.
The failure of the project has been blamed on the influence of the traditional birth attendants (TBAs) in communities and the slow response of the cyclists to emergencies. Margaret Banura, the chairperson of Bugaki sub county health committee, and resident of Bugaki trading centre says that some of the women prefer TBAs, because they are easily accessible.
Banura also says that the boda boda cyclists are slow when responding to emergencies. She cites last month, when 3 women who were supposed to be transported to the health centre, but the cyclists arrived three hours after they had been called. Banura also blames the district for not popularizing the project.
She says expectant mothers in some areas are ignorant about the project. Banura also says that some local health committee members were not availed with the telephone contacts of the cyclists, so it’s not easy to contact them.
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Christine Mugisa, a resident of Bugaki trading centre says that some women don’t trust the cyclists because they have not been trained on how to deal with emergencies. She says four months ago, she developed a complication as she was being transported to Kyenjojo health centre IV and since the cyclist wasn’t trained, he did nothing.
William Mucunguzi, the district health officer Kyenjojo admits that there are some loopholes in the project which need to be addressed. Mucunguzi says that village health teams will be facilitated to popularize the project and also help the cyclists attend to emergency cases.
boda boda ambulances
kyenjojo district health department