The Judith Oketch Story
In 2016, as I visited a friend whose apartment was being renovated in one of the mid-level communities within Nairobi, I witnessed a man fall on concrete that had broken glasses, from the ladder he was working on. He got a deep cut to his jaw running through to the neck. As would be any accident in such areas, those around him rushed to quickly provide their understanding of first aid. Needless to say, all those who surrounded him were not trained in any form of EMS and no one was able to call for an ambulance in time to save his life. He passed away on his way to the hospital in a private car due to heavy bleeding as he was also heavily intoxicated with alcohol.
In the same year In Kawangware slums in Nairobi, I did also witness a woman who had been stabbed 7 times by her husband in broad daylight. No one was willing to help her get to the hospital especially because of the stigma associated with gender-based violence. I took it upon myself to call for an ambulance from one of the service providers. The lady at the other end of the phone asked me the following questions:
- What is the emergency?
- Who will be paying for the service (kes. 5,000)?
- Are you related to the victim?
- Are the police on their way to the scene?
After I had answered these questions, she reluctantly informed me that the next available ambulance was 45 minutes away. The lady also did pass away from heavy bleeding on her way to the hospital in a private car. I was not able to get the ambulance to her in time.
This had me thinking about an affordable, effective and timely solution to accessing emergency services in the country, and how we can leverage technology, already existing community structures, and infrastructure to enable families in low and middle-income settings to access emergency medical care and treatment at the point and time when they need it.
From these experiences, Ambulex was born and has supported families to access affordable and timely emergency responses in low-income settings. We are enabling healthy and vibrant communities by providing quality healthcare through grassroots-level structures.