, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 16- In Kenya, an accident scene attracts crowds before response from emergency teams or police.
While some rush to scenes to offer help, others gather out of curiosity. But there are those who go to scenes of accidents with a bad motive. To steal from the helpless victims.
There are also those who take advantage to go steal from the spectators themselves. Worst still, others, armed with smartphones only sprint to accident scenes to take pictures for sharing on their social media pages.
Many lives that would have been saved are lost because even those with good intentions rarely know how to deal with the emergency scenes before emergency teams arrive.
For victims with serious injuries, a minute lost without help means diminishes their chances of survival. Medical experts say some victims who were likely to survive from accidents die at the scene or on the way to hospital due to overbreeding.
This is a trend that a Kenyan firm seeks to change and has caught the attention of the United Kingdom Government and investors.
It is the next big thing, so they say.
The Kenyan owned emergency services provider firm is among three women-led organizations chosen to showcase their expertise at the global platform, during the UK-Africa investment forum next week, putting the country in the global map once again, due to innovation.
More than a decade ago, Kenya fascinated the world after it came up with M-Pesa- a mobile phone-based money transfer, financing, and microfinancing service-which has since replicated in Afghanistan, South Africa, India, Romania and Albania.
The new entry in the world of innovation is Nurse in Hand emergency response, a firm seeking to reduce response time and distance in the Kenyan highways during accidents- in a bid to reverse the annual trend that claims more than 3,000 lives according to statistics by the National Transport Safety Authority (NTSA).
The project, which started some four years ago and is now at the implementation stage, will see doctors strategically positioned along major highways and blackspots, in a move meant to reduce response time to 10 minutes or even less, depending on where here the accident occurs.
Capital FM News spoke to Lucy Njuguna- the firm’s Chief Executive Officer- who said the doctors will be moving to the accident scenes using emergency motorcycles while carrying trauma bags.
“Why emergency motorcycles? Because every time an accident occurs, traffic jam immediately builds up and we need the doctors to quickly get to the scene of the crime,” she told this reporter, “The treatment starts at the scene of the accident so that the injured are stabilized. There are people who die after one or two hours, meaning with the necessary attention, that person would have survived.”
The motive, she asserted, is to reduce the numbers of “unnecessary deaths.”
How will they know when there is an emergency?
She said they will be using emerging technologies like blockchain, Artificial Intelligence (AI) Solutions and Internet of Things (IoT)- is a system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, objects, animals or people that are provided with Unique Identifiers (UIDs) and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction.
A blockchain is a decentralized, distributed, and oftentimes public, digital ledger that is used to record transactions across many computers so that any involved record cannot be altered retroactively, without the alteration of all subsequent blocks.
The firm has built a smart infrastructure that will include a mobile application with features that will enable subscribers to alert them in case of an emergency.
The application has a panic button, which when pressed once, will send their geo-location to service providers to Nurse in Hand emergency response spread within a distance of 50 kilometres, police and hospitals.
“You will not need to talk to anybody. Once you send the alert, the service providers will be at your service in 10 or fewer minutes,” she said of the platform, which is aligned with the NTSA.
-Smart gadgets for aged and boda boda operators-
Due to the nature of the boda-boda operators’ job, they will be required to acquire a bracelet with an ability to activate alerts.
The bracelet, an example of an Artificial Intelligence Solutions- will automatically create an alert to the Nurse in Hand emergency response team.
This happens in case they fall.
For the aged, expectant mothers and those who are vulnerable due to their health conditions, will be given a small gadget to wear around their necks- which they can press in case they need help.
The gadget has the ability to pick the impact if someone falls.
“The impact will be able to alert us,” Njuguna said.
Interestingly, the small black gadget has a two-way radio- “we can be able to talk to the person to find out whether it is an emergency. We will also have the details of their caregiver who will be called to assess the situation and inform us whether there is a need for help.”
Both gadgets, just like the mobile application, sends the geo-location data to the service providers.
For the Public Service Vehicles (PSV), they will be fitted with flash alert devices- that have an ability to pick the magnitude of impact so long as they are calibrated to pick a certain impact.
“When that impact is achieved, it creates an alert to our platform,” she said. “It will activate the whole infrastructure to get to the scene of the accident,” she said.
Already, the orgnisation said it has trained 4,000 Matatu drivers on how to manage scenes of accidents, in collaboration with various SACCOs.
The Kenyan Government has since recognized the initiative as a potential Vision 2030 flagship project.
-How to get their services-
One will be needed to download the application- Nurse in Hand Emergency Response.
There is a categorized subscription for corporates, drivers, Kenyan citizens, and individuals- all attracting varying fees.
Along the highways, the emergency organisation said it will set up control centres that will be used to marshal resources, to support the doctors at the scene.
The first centre is already under construction in Nakuru County- due to its high number of fatalities.
The motive is to save one life at a time.
-UK firm acquires KopaGas proprietary technology-
And this is just one of the projects set to be showcased in the United Kingdom, all Kenyan owned and led by women.
During his recent visit to Kenya, United Kingdom International Development Secretary Alok Sharma said such projects and the two others are the future for the country and Africa.
He assured the UK’s support to such initiatives is at the benefit of the UK and Kenya.
“I’ve seen this firsthand as I’ve traveled across Kenya and I am proud to see British companies thriving here. This will benefit people and businesses across Africa, but also back at home in the UK, creating a successful future for all of us,” he said during an event when he freely interacted with Njuguna and other investors.
During the event, Circle Gas Limited, a UK holding company, concluded the acquisition of KopaGas’s proprietary technology in a transaction worth Sh250 million.
The deal is thought to be the largest-ever pure private equity investment in the clean cooking technology sector.
Sharma hailed the move as a great example of a UK-African partnership, which is reducing carbon emissions while also creates jobs.
The acquisition will enable Circle Gas to gain access to pay-as-you-go technology, advanced manufacturing capabilities and positions in key LPG markets in East Africa.
About 900 million people, or 70 percent of the population in sub-Saharan Africa have not yet transitioned to clean and modern cooking fuels such as LPG.
With this acquisition, Circle Gas is set to design, manufacture and deploy Internet of Things devices and software that enable customers to pay and consume small amounts of gas at a time using mobile wallets such as M-Pesa, while providing timely and granular usage and payment information.