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MotoMeds: Riding to the Rescue 

MotoMeds: Riding to the Rescue 

UF Health Professor Leads Desperately Needed Mobile Medical Unit to Increase Access to Pre-emergency Pediatric Care in Ghana

By: Deborah Holmén, M.Ed. NBCT


In the developing world, pediatric mortality from infectious diseases like respiratory infections, diarrheal disease and malaria occurs far too often due to a lack of accessible care.  


In response, Dr. Torben Becker of the UF Health Department of Emergency Medical Services created a telemedicine and medication delivery service (TMDS) for underserved international locations, coined MotoMeds.


Torben said, “MotoMeds has been designed to bring access to care to areas and times of need to children that fall ill. Initially implemented in Haiti and now being evaluated for generalizability and portability in Ghana, this promising service aims to bring comprehensive care to those in the most dire of circumstances. We have even initiated help from the local community members to drive our medical teams out into the community to find the patients since there are no street signs. We’ve become very creative in finding ways to get help to those children most at risk.”

MotoMeds offers two levels of telemedicine capabilities and a range of medications and fluids delivered to patients’ homes. Launched in November 2022, the pilot implementation began in the poorest of Ghana’s urban communities; Jamestown and Ushertown.


The operational team consists of locally employed advanced emergency medical technicians and specialists in pediatrics. The National Ambulance Service, the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, the Ghana Health Service and the Accra Metropolitan Assembly monitor the operation. The funding for the project comes from the United States Agency for International Development and the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine.

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Torben said, “The aims of the pilot implementation are twofold: to evaluate the safety of the service and its logistical feasibility. Clinical safety is assessed via the congruence of care provided by the call center and clinical status 10 days post-delivery. Feasibility is evaluated by evaluating the service’s effects on the Ghana population, including travel time and cost barriers, patient satisfaction metrics, and subsequent scaling and optimization ability.”


Implementing MotoMeds provides an invaluable service for an area in desperate need. The pilot program will undoubtedly be closely monitored and analyzed to ensure the utmost safety and quality of the program. If successful, the MotoMeds TMDS will serve as a model for delivering pre-emergency care to at-risk communities worldwide. 


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