Ambulance service for rural villages
The provision of an ambulance is saving lives by getting villagers the medical attention they need more quickly.
The Maasai embrace a strong sense of community and ritual. Liz spent several days sitting in the bush with women who had recently given birth or were ill. The tradition is for men to boil three types of tree bark and cook meat for the women over an open fire to help them recover.
As the women talked together in the shade of the shrubs, Liz realised that people with life threatening conditions died from delay rather than the condition itself.
Liz relayed this information to friends and supporters, who pulled together to help. With the support of some German friends living in Tanzania, we bought a Toyota Noah people carrier and converted it so it could transport patients lying down through the bush to a medical centre.
The provision of an ambulance to the Maasai villages was emotionally overwhelming for Rebecca and Timothy, and their fellow citizens. Rebecca cried for three days when she first sat in the ambulance. She had never seen such a new vehicle. The ambulance is registered in her name. It is incredibly unusual for a Maasai woman to own anything.
The ambulance is now known in the villages as 'the strong one'. While so many other vehicles break down, this one keeps going. It is well used, well maintained through regular services and is paying for itself. It's so valued and in such demand that another service has also been set up independently. The more the merrier! It helps to ensure an increasing number of people can get access to healthcare, and reduces the pressure on our drivers who are always on call.