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Bolt to offer expectant mothers free rides during curfew hours

Ride hailing service Bolt has announced that it will offer free rides to pregnant women during curfew hours.

In a press statement released on Thursday, Bolt announced that it had partnered with Kenya Healthcare Federation (KFH) in the new plan.

“The partnership dubbed Wheels for Life will see expectant women within Nairobi and its environs get free rides from their homes to the approved health facilities through Bolt for Business account that will be managed by the Kenya Healthcare Federation (KHF), the health sector board of the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA),” Bolt said in the statement.

Bolt added that the initiative was aimed at ensuring that it saves lives and provide access to hospitals for women in labour who might be in dire need of medical attention during curfew hours and reducing maternal deaths during Covid-19 pandemic.

Mr Ola Akinnusi in the statement said that the introduction of the curfew had created anxiety amongst expectant women due to the fact that people are not allowed out past 7pm.

“The status of curfew has created anxiety among expectant women should labour ensue during the night. There is thus an urgent need for proper systems to be in place to support them during pregnancy-related emergencies. Our aim is to facilitate the movement of expectant mothers during emergencies related to labour from their homes to the approved health facility of their choice in a safe, convenient and timely manner. This is why we have a partnership that will see many expectant mothers get free rides to the hospitals throughout the curfew hours,” he said.

This partnership, according to Bolt, is an initiative that has the blessings of the Kenyan government and will see it work closely with corporates and other responsible private stakeholders to ensure that there is an easy flow of the program for all members of the public.

In addition, the ride-hailing service will work in liaison with existing call centres that will be managed by medical personnel who are able to screen and access the severity of cases and advise on nearest facility and aid in getting transport to them during the night.

“Near-term women, with birth plans in place will be provided with stamped documents from the relevant authorities and hospitals to enable them and their partners passage on the road as they rush to hospital. They will be required to call a toll-free line (1196), in order to have access to these services,” the statement further read.

Other partners in the initiative include; AMREF Enterprises and AMREF Health Africa, University of centre – providing a wide network of ambulance and security dispatches across Kenya, and Nairobi Metropolitan Services – that offered to support with taxi fumigation and linkage to ambulance services.