Health Care Project
"This bicycle ambulance is like a “savior” to the village and those villages that are surrounding. Most of us cannot access a car to take
a patient to a clinic or even access a motorcycle because most of us
are subsistence farmers.
(Alice/Uganda by P. Kayemba FABIO)
In many African countries there is still a lack of affordable transport. Especially in rural areas the distances to the next health care centre often are extremely long. The health system is frustrated by the lack of ability to overcome distances. In case of emergency it’s too exhausting to walk but often the only opportunity for most of the countrymen to reach medical care. Three obstacles facing health care delivery in Africa: Transport options, lack of medical personnel.
Make A Move Campaign approach
Transport and an integrated emergency communication are the key factors for a better accessibility. The goal of the Health Care Project is to improve accessibility to health care centers while improving communication and mobility. Bridging the gap!
Bicycles are the most appropriate and sustainable technology. Compared to motorcycles the acquisation costs are quiet low and can be constructed locally. Materials are available on regional markets and they can be repaired by the communities themselves. That's why they are still in use after years. To use the bicycle for transportation of the injured a bike trailer is mounted.
Bicycles and other human powered vehicles can be the key to transport patients to medical facilities where no transport at all is available. A bicycle increases a person’s ability to reach destinations of up to 20 km. On the one side using a bike shortens the journey time and on the other side it’s making the transport more comfortable for the patients.
EURIST Make A Move staff together with local NGOs supported bicycle ambulance projects in Ghana, Senegal and Uganda.
In Ghana for example a single nurse on a bicycle relocated to a village health care center can outperform an entire sub-district center. The volume of health care service encounters has increased by eight times!
In Uganda our partner organisation FABIO (First African Bicycle Information Office) has assembled and handed out bicycle ambulances trailers since several years. One ambulance in the Katakwi District is used up to 6 times a month for rural emergency transport reasons.
Health workers like Alungat Scolistica work voluntarily and are the first persons to be contacted in when medical help is required. With no other mean of transport available they normally are on theire way by foot.
The usage of a bike helps her to visit more people in the villages under her responsibility as she can take care of more patients in a shorter time. In case bicycle ambulances are available it becomes much easier for her to organise emergency transport. Read a story out of Alungats everyday life.
For more impressions please have a look at our galery.