Moving Health Is The Future Of The Community Emergency Medical Transport System

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On 18 February 2020, The Okoa Project and Virtue Foundation exhibited the first prototype of a locally manufactured tricycle ambulance which was designed in consultation with local innovators, artisans, and community leaders, and members from over 20 communities in the Sissala East district.

With over 5 years of experience in working with communities in both Tanzania and Ghana, we are convinced of the viability of the locally manufactured tricycle ambulance and the impact it will make in their daily lives.

Our team at The Okoa Project has goals to expand our efforts to all 260 districts in Ghana and, the over 5200 community health planning and services (CHPS) / health centers.
The mission of our organization is to connect every family to healthcare when they need it most, with a strong focus on reducing maternal mortality.

Today we are excited to launch 5 of our tricycle ambulances to mark the beginning of a pilot phase of the ambulances in real communities, taking real patients to the hospital.

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The 5 communities selected by the Sissala East District Health Directorate to receive the ambulances are Nabulo, Nabugubelle, Sakai, Kong, and Bawiesibelle. The criteria for selection have been made with guidance from Mr.Alex Bapula, Sissala East District Health Director and it is based on communities with the highest maternal mortality cases.

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Our ambulances are designed by the communities that we work with, combining deep local knowledge with our technology-focused group of experts. The ambulances are designed with custom suspension for comfort on difficult roads, and custom telemetry sensors that provide real-time GPS tracking. We are confident that this technology-focused approach will allow us to disrupt the emergency transportation space and save lives – one ride at a time.

With the data collected from the ambulance, the communities and healthcare facilities nearby can analyze the number of rides per period and be able to calculate time spent against distances.
The district health directorate can use the same data to advise the Ministry of Health for efficient allocation of resources.

In the coming months, while we monitor the performance of the ambulance program, we will be working with our engineering team to further refine the design and push towards a robust Ghana-based manufacturing setup.

“Strengthening the resilience of Ghana’s health system to better respond to emergencies”, is the theme for the recent 2021 health summit organized by the ministry of health. At the 3-day summit, one word underlined all assertions of panelists and participants alike: ‘collaboration’. The Okoa Project has been working with communities to collaborate and co-create emergency transport solutions for the past 5 years and is well equipped to contribute to this goal of universal health coverage.

We are redefining emergency transportation from the ground up and are passionately working on the goal of country-wise health access alongside the GHS (Ghana Health Service).

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