Rural communities in Africa face transportation barriers when trying to access healthcare. Vehicle ambulances are often not common in these areas due to poor road conditions and cost of road maintenance. Additionally, many of the indigenous communities can not afford to own personal vehicles. This is a big problem when there is an emergency because there is no way to transport patients safely to the nearest hospital.

 

However, thanks to 29-year-old Ugandan native, Christopher Ategeka, rather than wait on the government to build bicycles to transport patients to the nearest hospital, Ategeka founded CA Bikes, a non-profit organization that teaches villagers how to build bike ambulances and wheelchairs from scrap metal.  Ategeka was quoted saying, “I teach you how to make it, and I teach you how to fix it. If it breaks, you know what to do, and if you want to build something you think outside the box and you do it.”

 

Ategeka became an orphan at the age of seven when he lost both his parents to HIV/AIDS and immediately became the caretaker of his five siblings. Ategeka came to United States with the help of Y.E.S. Uganda, a non-profit organization that supports orphans. He went on to earn a BS and MS in Mechanical Engineering, both of which helped to develop his knowledge and inspiration for CA Bikes.

 

CA Bikes has helped to distribute more than 1,000 bikes and bike ambulances throughout Uganda. According to Ategeka, 100 bikes can transport about 10,000 people a month.  This is a major solution to the healthcare transportation issue in Uganda. Ategeka’s CA Bikes gets sick people safely to the nearest hospital and also saves lives.

 

What are your thoughts? Do you think bike ambulances are better alternatives to vehicle ambulances? Let us know below or tweet me @LindaAmaechi