Sierra Leone Kambia Hospital Appeal Report
Updated: Aug 7, 2019
A report by Sunil S. Bhopal, Stephen J. Halpin and Nancy Gerein has recently been made available.
Emergency Obstetric Referral in Rural Sierra Leone: What Can Motorbike Ambulances Contribute?
A Mixed-Methods Study
The conclusion notes that:
A system of emergency referral using specially designed motorbike ambulances was well known and valued by rural communities. Motorbike ambulances are particularly suited to remote areas and can function on poor roads inaccessible to other vehicles. The capital and ongoing costs of a motorbike ambulance are low, and implementation of such a system is possible in a short time. Storing the ambulances in the periphery—at Peripheral Health Units—rather than at the district hospital has been shown to work, keeping them close to the areas in which they are needed and not leading to inappropriate use.
Whilst the causes of maternal mortality and morbidity are known, the factors surrounding their improvement remain complex. However, it appears that a motorbike ambulance provided at low cost as part of the healthcare system in rural areas can help to reduce a key barrier to receiving care. Further research is required to quantify this improvement, and to identify generalisable features of the system.