Updated on September 28, 2019


Created on August 5, 2019

Okoa Ambulance

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The Okoa Ambulance is a motorcycle trailer designed to transport patients in rural areas of Tanzania.

Developed By Unknown
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Product Description

Okoa Ambulance is a trailer that can be attached to any motorcycle transforming it into an ambulance. The system can be used to transport patients in rural areas of Tanzania to a healthcare facility. This ambulance contains 3 kits: a first aid kit, a birthing kit, and a spare contingency kit. It includes a removable stretcher so that patients can be loaded into the ambulance and an extra seat for a passenger to support the patient. By summer of 2019, the Okoa Project aims to to expand to 15 communities with 100 ambulances to serve over 2000 people.

Distributors / Implementing Organizations

It is available for purchase after July 2019. It can be ordered through The Okoa Project website.

Manufacturing/Building Method

Make to order, it has a welded steel frame, wooden panels are attached for seating and a plastic covering is added on the outside.

Intellectural Property Type

Open Source

User Provision Model

Users can order an Okoa ambulance through the manufacturer's website.

Distributions to Date Status


Design Specifications

The designers identified that the crucial design criteria are safety, comfort, and sustainability. For comfort purposes, a robust suspension system was designed to avoid any stillborn deaths from vibrations and bumps on the road. An extra seat was included so that a passenger can provide emotional support to the patient or help with physical care. For sustainability purposes, the trailer can be attached to any motorcycle transforming it to an ambulance. It is made from locally sourced materials so that maintenance can be done by local technicians. Each Okoa Ambulance includes a first aid kit, a birthing kit, and contingency kits.

Technical Support

Provided by the manufacturer

Replacement Components

Replaceable components include canopy, medical kits and suspension system



Manufacturer Specified Performance Parameters

The Okoa Project aims to save lives by connecting people to the healthcare.

Vetted Performance Status

The research and design was done by students from MIT D-Lab. The manufacturing of the prototypes was done with the help of Twende.


Trailer should be properly attached to motorcycle when used. Speed limits and traffic laws should be respected when operating the product.

Complementary Technical Systems

Any available motorcycle

Academic Research and References

Hofman, J. J., Dzimadzi, C., Lungu, K., Ratsma, E. Y. and Hussein, J., 2008, Motorcycle ambulances for referral of obstetric emergencies in rural Malawi: Do they reduce delay and what do they cost?, International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics, 102, pp. 191-197

Lin, C., Chang, H., Shyu, K., Liu, C., Lin, C., Hung, C. and Chen, P., 1998, A method to reduce response times in prehospital care: The motorcycle experience, The American Journal of Emergency Medicine, 16(7), pp. 711-713

Peyravi, MR, Tubaei, F. and Pourmohammadi, K., 2009, The Efficiency of Motorlance in Comparison with Ambulance in Shiraz, Southern Iran, Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal, 11(3), pp. 330-333

Van Der Pols, H., Mencl, F. and De Vos, R., 2011, The impact of an emergency motorcycle response vehicle on prehospital care in an urban area, European Journal of Emergency Medicine, 18(6), pp. 328-333

Nakstad, A., Bjelland, B. and Sandberg, M., 2009, Medical emergency motorcycle – is it useful in a Scandinavian Emergency Medical Service?, Scandinavian Journal of Trauma, Resuscitation and Emergency Medicine, 17(9)

Compliance with regulations


Other Information


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