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Bodacart

A $500 ambulance that can connect with any boda-boda to turn it into a safe transport vehicle

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EXPLAIN YOUR IDEA

The decision to seek medical attention in Uganda can be influenced by many factors, however concerns about the cost of transport and treatment are consistently identified as the primary barrieri to doing so.
One study in eastern Uganda found that the delay in reaching a health facility was the primary cause of 20% of newborn deathsii. Additionally, in a qualitative study performed in 2006, women cited distance from a health facility, transportation problems, and an inability to travel alone as barriers to seeking medical attentioni. When utilized appropriately, the BodaCart would reduce delays by improving the overall availability of fast, suitable medical transport.
The BodaCart isa $500 ambulance designed to be inexpensive and easily available, and with the potential to improve the health of a community by cutting the cost of emergency transportation. When not in use as an emergency transport, the BodaCart can also be used for commerce, and the extra income generated from this commerce could have an additional positive effect on the health of community.
In essence, it is a side-car on wheels that can attach to any boda-boda (motorcycle taxis in East Africa) and convert it into a safe transport vehicle, that can carry one patient at a time over rough terrain. Since the boda-bodas are in abundance, creating an adage is much easier than creating a dedicated vehicle that have seemed to fail many times over in africa.

WHO BENEFITS?

- Patients, especially pregnant women, who can use the Bodacart to travel safely to the hospitals
- Hospitals (staff and systems) as Bodacart helps them organise the reception of patients better
- Entrepreneurs who create and sell Bodacarts. We will teach local welders to design and build carts instead of having patents and large factories
- Boda riders who can charge an extra fee for taking patients to hospitals or use the cart for transporting items like bananas

TELL US MORE ABOUT YOU

I Abhijit, from India. I have been visiting Uganda for three years now. I came here the first time in 2013, for a hackathon. I was showed around Mbarara hospital, where I noticed a pregnant women in labor get down a boda-boda and walk to the ICU. Since, then I have wanted to solve patient transport.

WHERE WILL YOUR IDEA BE IMPLEMENTED?

  • Uganda

EXPERIENCE IN IMPLEMENTATION COUNTRY(IES)

  • Yes, for more than one year.

EXPERTISE IN SECTOR

  • I’ve worked in a sector related to my idea for over a year

                                           Bodacart – Concept Note


Bodacart on a road test


Summary

The BodaCart project is low cost and high impact, and it would have a direct improvement on the health and economy as it stands today. The team is focused on providing a product that improves the economy of the region while also being affordable and sustainable for the people that would use the product every day. The team has a proven track record of creating prototypes and developing concepts, and it is supported by a group of exceptional organizations and mentors.

Technology Innovation

BodaCart: A cost-effective, clinically impactful, and locally manufactured transport

The BodaCart will be the first transport mechanism in Uganda to integrate a patient transport capability into a commercially viable cargo vehicle. The BodaCart will attach to a small motorcycle and leverage existing motorcycle parts and expertise, combined with a few clever innovations, to create a better composite product.

The BodaCart is locally manufactured with existing, broadly available motorcycle parts for a price of roughly $500 USD (1 250 000 UGX). A prototype has already been created to prove its cost and local manufacturability.

Taking into account highly diverse terrain, the BodaCart is usable in three ways: (1) attached to the back of a motorcycle as a trailer, suitable for narrow forest paths; (2) attached to the side of a motorcycle as a sidecar, suitable for uneven roads and hilly conditions; and finally, (3) a stand-alone pull-cart suitable for extreme hills and off-road conditions.

Its key innovation is the combination of flexibility, affordability, and usability.

BodaNet: A referral network for emergency situations and birth survival

BodaNet, a novel distributed referral network, couples with the BodaCart to ensure that when patients arrive at a health facility there are sufficient resources available to treat them. BodaNet will be a user-friendly, convenient, and affordable internet-based communication system that can operate over any mobile phone or computer network. BodaNet will be a centralized network service containing contact information for all health facilities and BodaCart drivers in a region.

Public Health Impact


The decision to seek medical attention in Uganda can be influenced by many factors, however concerns about the cost of transport and treatment are consistently identified as the primary barrieri to doing so.

One study in eastern Uganda found that the delay in reaching a health facility was the primary cause of 20% of newborn deathsii. Additionally, in a qualitative study performed in 2006, women cited distance from a health facility, transportation problems, and an inability to travel alone as barriers to seeking medical attentioni. When utilized appropriately, the BodaCart would reduce delays by improving the overall availability of fast, suitable medical transport.

The BodaCart is designed to be inexpensive and easily available, and it has the potential to improve the health of a community by cutting the cost of emergency transportation. When not in use as an emergency transport, the BodaCart can also be used for commerce, and the extra income generated from this commerce could have an additional positive effect on the health of community.

Commercial Viability

An exact estimate of motorcycle taxis in Uganda is not available. However, there are roughly 70 000 new motorcycles registered every yeariii, and recent news reports estimate that there are as many as 800 000 existing motorcycles in Kampalaiv alone; many of these drivers would be able to afford a BodaCart as a value-add to their existing services.

Farmers and small manufacturers throughout Uganda lack a low cost motorized transport for their goods. At present, the most common way for a farmer to transport a medium sized load of goods (at low cost) is to put the goods on the back of a bicycle. If the same farmer were able to transport more goods via a motorcycle taxi driver, then he could make it to market faster and with a higher quantity of goods.

Outside of Uganda, BodaCart compatible motorcycles are being used in many other African countries, potentially opening up an even larger market.

Team and Partnerships

The BodaCart primary team consists of David McKeone and Abhijit Sinha (software engineers), as well as Roger Busingye (mechanical engineer). The team is supported by the Consortium for Affordable Medical Technologies (CAMTech) and the Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST). The team benefits from the mentorship of Mike Dempsey (Business), Mike Wollowitz (Mechanical Engineering), and Dr. Data Santorino (Public Health and Medicine), as well as many other CAMTech employees and mentors.

The team was awarded first place for the BodaCart concept at the CAMTech Medical Technology Hackathon.


References

i Parkhurst JO, Rahman SA, Ssengooba F. Overcoming access barriers for facility-based delivery in low-income settings: insights from Bangladesh and Uganda. Journal of health, population, and nutrition. 2006;24(4):438-45. Available at: http://www.pubmedcentral.com.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=3001147&tool=pmcentrez&rendertype=abstract. 


ii Waiswa P, Kallander K, Peterson S, Tomson G, Pariyo GW. Using the three delays model to understand why newborn babies die in eastern Uganda. Tropical medicine & international health: TM & IH. 2010;15(8):964-72. Available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20636527. Accessed October 1, 2013. 


iii Uganda Revenue Authority. Newly Registered Vehicles. Available at: http://www.ubos.org/onlinefiles/uploads/ubos/pdf%20documents/Trans_T1_2011.pdf. Accessed October 15, 2013

iv Klosterboer B. Kampala's Boda Bodas: Profit overrides competitition. Available at: http://www.monitor.co.ug/artsculture/Reviews/Kampala-s-Boda-Bodas—Profit-overrides-competition/-/691232/1703394/- /12ack3j/-/index.html. Accessed October 15, 2013.

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