Introducing the Bike Ambulance in Afghanistan

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bike-ambulance (1)Bicycles have come a long way in recent years, evolving from machines that were just fun to ride, to actually making waves as humanitarian vehicles. These two-wheelers are improving the quality of life the world over, in everything from life-saving ambulance services to improving childhood literacy, while new bike inventions are making roads safer for cyclists.

Mountain2Mountain founder Shannon Galpin has seen first-hand how bikes help lower child mortality rates in Afghanistan by enabling midwives to travel between villages. “In Afghanistan, female midwives are the only ones who can deliver babies,” she says. “A doctor can’t do it. If you can get midwives on bikes, you will increase their accessibility to provide medical care.”

Stipulated time for an ambulance to reach the spot in an urban area is 20 minutes and 30 minutes in rural areas and according to the report, UP has been performing with an efficiency of 96% while in other states it is around 70-80 per cent. Galpin highlighted the convenience of motorbikes in traffic congestion and that it is economically friendly.

Biking is an incredibly cheap form of transportation. You can get kids to school even if it is outside their village. You increase access to education with fewer resources.

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Author, activist and founder of Mountain2Mountain, Shannon Galpin

With a little funding though, bikes can take on even bigger responsibilities. In July, a high-end version of a cargo bike ambulance was shown at the New Designer Show in London. Transportation-focused charity Trans-aid worked with Bournemouth University Product Design student Douglas Powell to improve the design of the non-profit’s bike ambulance trailer, which it uses in rural areas of sub-Saharan Africa.

The bike ambulance service also helped to reduce maternal mortality rates according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) statistics. Between 2000 and 2013, the mortality rate has decreased by 31.5 percent.

This is exactly what we call “using available resources” to address socio-economic issues in either the country or continent and should be celebrated. It is high-time people stop complaining to the government for certain things and instead go to the government with solutions to address these challenges.

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