Project Details

Ambulance Taxi

Uber for medical emergencies in Tanzania

By Vodafone Foundation

Project URL:
Project Twitter: @VodafoneGroup

Organisations Involved Vodafone Foundation
Pathfinder International
Touch Foundation
USAID (@usaid)

One To Watch
  • Health
  • Safety & Security
  • Mobile

When 30-year-old Rehema Sanane was due to give birth, she experienced sudden bleeding. Walking one kilometre to the nearest health centre, she was diagnosed with ante-partum haemorrhaging, and taken to the district hospital, where she delivered a healthy baby boy, in spite of serious complications. 

Rehema’s story may not have had a happy ending. Sengerema and Shinyanga, the rural district in Tanzania where she lives, has only 10 ambulances for over two million people in an area the size of Belgium. The local population experience some of the world’s highest infant mortality rates, and many women who experience complications at birth have not survived due to lack of access to a hospital. 

This is where the Vodafone Foundation’s Ambulance Taxi initiative comes in. Launched with NGO partners Pathfinder International, Touch Foundation and USAID, Ambulance Taxi provides an emergency line equivalent to 999 in the UK, and a network of 100 taxi drivers who can respond to emergency calls and carry women on what is often a three-hour journey to reach the nearest hospital. When the journey is completed, the taxi driver is automatically paid using Vodafone’s M-Pesa mobile payments system. 

A trial service launched last year has already saved the lives of 323 women like Rehema, and Vodafone Foundation predicts that at least 2,700 lives of pregnant women and babies will be saved in Tanzania as a result of the service. 

The initiative is part of Vodafone Foundation’s efforts to implement technology solutions within the health system in Tanzania since 2011, which also includes a mobile application developed for community health workers that lists more than 10,000 pregnant women and identifies those who are at risk. To find out more, visit

Image courtesy of Ambulance Taxi

Last updated: 10th of August, 2016

Cookies on the Social Tech Guide

Social Tech Guide uses cookies to provide you with an enhanced user experience. To remove this message, please click continue.

Continue Learn more