Ambulance Motorbikes

An article on South Sudan’s bike ambulances paints a very different picture of motorcycles than usually found in hospitals.

There are certainly more comfortable ways to go to hospital than a motorbike with a sidecar bed attached to its side.

But the launch of these ambulance motorbikes in South Sudan is a serious attempt to tackle some of the world’s highest rates of women dying in pregnancy.


“The advantage of the motor bikes is that they can easily be managed at a lower level health facility,” said Joyce Mphaya, a safe motherhood specialist with the UN children’s fund (Unicef), which donated the bikes.

“It is cost-effective in terms of fuel, and you can easily move with the motorbikes to remote places, where there are no roads and where cars cannot go.”


Sudan is not the first to use motorbike ambulances.

In Malawi, similar bikes helped more than halve maternal mortality rates over a period of four years.

They also helped halve the numbers of emergency caesarean sections, because they got the women to hospital before an operation was needed.

That is a hugely successful program to manage risk. No mention of fatalities or even accidents from use of the motorbikes?

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