Mozambique: Tuk tuk ambulances
In northern Mozambique there are not many ambulances. Even women who are heavily pregnant usually have to travel to hospital on foot, which can be fatal for mother and child. SolidarMed has therefore launched a tuk ambulance system, which rapidly transports pregnant women to hospital and reinforces community structures.
Key project facts
Aim of the project
To provide free and fast transport to health facilities for pregnant women.
Pregnant women in the Chiúre District in northern Mozambique
Establishment of social enterprise Oka Ventures in 2018 following successful pilot phase. Implementation of the project by Oka Ventures – guided and financed by SolidarMed.
Renting and maintaining tuk tuks, training drivers, advertising the service to local people
Key project facts
In the Chiúre District, SolidarMed has introduced a self-financing emergency transport system. Via the social enterprise Oka Ventures, SolidarMed rents tuk tuks – known as Oka taxis – to local drivers. Most of the time, drivers use their vehicles as normal taxis to transport passengers or goods. If needed, however, they have to drive pregnant women from the villages to the nearest hospital or health centre free of charge. This saves women the arduous journey on foot and allows them to give birth safely in a healthcare facility. This tried and tested model makes it possible to offer free emergency transport while allowing drivers to earn their own income.
Drivers take pregnant women to hospital four times a month on average. The rest of the time, the drivers earn a decent income from taxi journeys. Meanwhile, the enterprise Oka Ventures maintains the tuk tuks and trains drivers in managing their income and safe driving. Demand for the ambulance service is growing as community members and particularly pregnant women become aware of it.