WHO IS PULSE?
An Innovative Social Enterprise
Since 2007, the founders of Pulse have been offering unique transportation solutions in Africa that began with a company in Zambia. Their primary goal was to provide affordable, high quality medical transportation solutions specifically designed for the hard to reach places. In 2008, the Village Ambulance was created to meet this need and since that time, over 1,300 ambulances have been distributed in more than 5 countries across Africa. In 2012, the Village Ambulance became available in Uganda and there are now more than 350 in use across 35 Districts.
Pulse is a limited liability company (LLC) based in Kampala, Uganda that is dedicated to helping save lives – around the world – by improving access to health care with the primary goal of reducing Maternal, Newborn and Infant mortality, among others. The proposed solution is improved transportation, which can be accomplished in partnership with government, development organizations and the private sector that are already creating positive impact in the health sector or are interested in supporting health initiatives.
As a social enterprise, Pulse offers it’s main product, the Village Ambulance, as a solution to the medical transport needs of rural communities. It is a custom-built, weight balanced and low centre of gravity trailer that can be pulled behind virtually any bicycle or motorcycle and is designed specifically for the hard to reach places.
Pulse is a solution to the lack of medical transportation in rural communities. Cars and trucks are rarely seen in most rural villages due to both the poor condition of roads and the poor economic condition of the communities. Since many villages are located far from the nearest clinic or hospital, people must resort to slow and unsafe means of transportation such as riding inside a wheelbarrow or oxcart, riding on the back of a bicycle or small motorcycle, or being carried many miles by loved ones or neighbors.
Pulse manufactures Village Ambulances in Uganda for distribution around the world. The Village Ambulance is a two-wheeled ambulance trailer that can be easily connected to virtually any motorcycle or bicycle. While cars are rarely seen in most rural communities, there are often bicycles and motorcycles. When there’s an injury or a woman goes into labor, a motorcycle driver can be hired for a reasonable price to connect the Village Ambulance to his motorcycle and deliver the patient to a health facility. If a motorcycle is not available, the Village Ambulance can be attached to a bicycle or pushed/pulled by hand.
As a result of the Village Ambulance, communities have access to a very affordable ambulance service. The patients are now able to receive medical attention in less time. A journey which used to take between two to three hours to reach a rural health centre that was 4 km away using a wheelbarrow or stretcher now takes an average of 30-40 minutes using the Village Ambulance to cover the same distance.
Pulse also offers the Village Ambulance with either a locally available bicycle or motorcycle at an extra cost.
Pulse exists to help save lives by improving access to health care and reducing mortality rates.
Every day, approximately 800 women die during and following pregnancy and childbirth. Nearly every one of these deaths was entirely preventable, and the mothers’ lives could have been saved with access to proper medical care. No woman should die while giving life!
Having access to safe, quick, and reliable means of medical transportation is key to preventing these unnecessary deaths and disabilities and ensuring that rural communities have one less reason not to go to the nearest health facility.