Bicycles are an Essential Healthcare Tool


Rural healthcare workers treat more patients on two wheels.

The Palabana Health Clinic in the Chongwe District of Zambia is staffed by trained volunteer healthcare workers who serve as substitutes for doctors and nurses. These healthcare workers treat illnesses, maintain accurate records, educate and visit homebound patients. A reliable bicycle makes it possible for these workers to treat more patients more efficiently.

 

“With a bicycle, it is very easy to move because you reach to the patient in time.”

  •  4
    • Clive would walk 4 hours a day to reach his patients
  • 1
    • Now Clive can ride his bicycle to patients in 1 hour
  • 400
    • Clive cares for 400 households in the Palabana community

One of Clive’s primary responsibilities is to visit Palabana community members at home, to help identify those who are sick. He educates them about their illness and encourages them to visit the clinic.  Before he had a Buffalo Bicycle, Clive would walk up to 10km to visit patients at home. It would take him four hours to travel round-trip, which severely limited the number of patients he could treat in a day. 

Now that Clive rides a bicycle to visit patients, he has cut his traveling time to a total of one-hour round-trip. gbp-wbr2015-1224Since he has about 400 households to monitor and serve, time is precious – and now Clive has much more of it. “The experience of working with clients is invaluable,” Clive says. Now that he can treat more patients, he is getting the experience he needs to be an excellent doctor.

Healthcare workers in rural Zambia face unique challenges. Home visits are an essential element of healthcare in this region, but distance makes it difficult for volunteers and clinic workers to reach their patients. Sometimes, this can mean the difference between life and death.

Bicycle transportation reduces healthcare workers’ travel time. As a result, these workers can care for more patients, reach patients faster in an emergency, and save their energy for patient care rather than walking. WBR is committed to expanding access to reliable transportation, for healthcare workers and anyone else who could benefit from having more hours in their day. By our estimation, that’s just about everybody.

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