Access to health services is a big issue in Uganda's rural areas. Health centers are far from most villages. Therefore, each village is supposed to have a VHT (Village Health Team) which is running on an volunteer basis and is the first entity people approach. VHT's are in charge to care for minor injuries and deliver common drugs, such as malaria treatment. They should also advise people and refer them to Health Centers if necessary.
However, in many cases the VHTs are not-existent or not equipped with drugs and basic knowledge. As they have to walk long distances to reach all the community members they are often reaching too late or not at all.
FABIO is equipping VHT's with bicycles and building their capacity in cooperation with the Red Cross Uganda. Besides the medical skills, we train the beneficiaries in bicycle maintenance and income generating through the bicycle. Health workers that received bicycles through FABIO and Coop-Africa reported they are now motivated to fulfill their duties. Their bicycles show their importance and give them a higher status in the community. It is now less costly for them to move around and the higher mobility allows them to visit more households in a shorter period of time and access health centers more frequently.
But although these VHTs are doing a great job, it is often necessary to bring sick persons to the health center, where they can access more drugs, better treatment and laboratory services. In case of ambulant patients, the VHTs can carry these persons on their carrier. But this is not always possible. Highly pregnant women, infants, patients with seizures or people who lost consciousness can hardly carried on the carrier for long distances. FABIO therefor introduced the bicycle ambulance, which allows the VHT's and other community members to carry their patients easily to the health-center. It is mainly used for pregnant women and helps to reduce the maternal and child death rate as it provides access to trained health professionals.
100 bicycles for women in Uganda
status report for the bike for care project in Iganga
evaluation and impact assesment report for the bike 4 projects