Transport platform Bolt has announced a partnership with the Kenya Healthcare Federation (KFH) to offer expectant mothers free rides to enable them to have access to safe hospital deliveries during curfew hours.

The partnership labelled ‘Wheels for Life’ will see expectant women within the Nairobi area and its environs get free rides from their homes to approved health facilities through a 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).

“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. This (partnership) will see many expectant mothers get free rides to the hospitals throughout the curfew hours,” said Ola Akinnusi, Country Manager, Bolt.

The partnership will see Bolt work with government authorities, corporate and other responsible private stakeholders to ensure easy flow of this programme for all the public. Bolt will work in liaison with existing call centers which will be manned by medical personnel that can be able to screen and assess the severity of cases and advise on nearest facility and aid in getting transport to them during the night time.

On the logistics of how this will work, Bolt says that 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.

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Other partners in this initiative include AMREF Enterprises and AMREF Health Africa, University of Nairobi, Telesky Kenya who are providing the toll-free call center, Rescue.co on the network of ambulance and security dispatches across Kenya, and Nairobi Metropolitan Services that offered to support with taxi fumigation and linkage to ambulance services.

Last week, Bolt introduced a new ride-type in its platform dubbed Bolt Protect meant to protect passengers and drivers against the spread of COVID-19 virus. Vehicles under that new category are now fitted with a protective plastic film of nylon between the passenger and driver seats acting as a precautionary barrier that limits the airflows between them in efforts to reduce the possibility of the virus spreading through droplets expelled by sneezes or coughs from an infected person.

Bolt Protect is at present only available to the company’s customers in Nairobi with the plans to expand to more cities soon. Passengers are able to choose the new ride-type when they order a car in the Bolt app and will not pay an extra fare since the new category does not attract an additional base fare. The number of passengers in the new category is also limited to 2 – using the back seat cabin.