Riders For Health: Improving African Healthcare

Photo. Cnn.com

According to the World Health Organization, millions of lives are lost each year to preventable and treatable diseases in the sub-Saharan African region.

Barry Coleman, a British racing journalist, and his wife, Andrea, decided something needed to change.

After traveling to Somalia in the 1980’s, the Coleman’s were astounded at the amount of motorbikes that were lying around due to minor maintenance problems and a lack of availability for new parts. They quickly realized that in regions where roadways and vehicles are unreliable, fast and economical motorbikes would prove invaluable to African healthcare workers who were travelling hours on foot or bicycle to reach patients.

In 1996, the Coleman’s founded Riders for Health, and have since revolutionized rural healthcare in regions around Africa. Today, Riders for Health manages and maintains over 1,400 motorbikes in seven African countries, providing healthcare for over 12 million people. Riders for Health claims that after receiving motorbikes, healthcare workers are able to reach six times more patients, and can spend double the amount of time with those patients.

Andrea Coleman explains: “What gets me up in the morning is the idea that health workers who are very highly trained — women and men living across Africa — really want to get out to their rural communities and make sure that they are healthy.”

And thanks to the Coleman’s, they now can.

To read more about this story, visit: http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/23/world/africa/riders-for-health/index.html

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