Esther lives with her five children in the Tororo District of Iyolwa, eastern Uganda. When her eight month old son Fred fell sick, Esther called for a community health worker called Silver. Silver was able to reach the family quickly by riding a bicycle to their home. When he arrived, he found Fred was suffering from malaria and needed urgent medical attention.
Silver cycled to the next village, where he was able to arrange for a motorcycle to pick Fred up and transport him immediately to Iyolwa Health Centre III, the main health facility for the area. There, thanks to Silver’s quick intervention, Fred received treatment and recovered.
Silver is one of the lucky ones. Unfortunately not all the community health workers in Iyolwa and neighbouring districts have bicycles, which is why Malaria Consortium is raising funds to provide up to a hundred more bicycles and repair kits for their use.
In Uganda, common diseases such as malaria, diarrhoea and pneumonia are life-threatening, especially to children under five like Fred.
Many community health workers are trained to diagnose and treat common illnesses as well as to teach communities about sanitation, to show them how to protect themselves from malaria. However, most of these workers are forced to travel across their area on foot. Each community health worker is responsible for as many as 100 households in a village, some of them up to three miles apart. This means their progress is so slow that many people needing healthcare are not reached quickly or sometimes at all. When a young child’s life is at risk, this can have tragic consequences.
However, if they have their own bicycles, community health workers will be able to reach families like Esther's far more quickly and save more lives.
Will you donate and help us reach our goal, allowing Esther, her children and thousands of people like them to be within the reach of a community health worker? We are aiming to raise £10,000 by the end of the year: this will allow us to purchase and distribute 100 bicycles and repair kits. Help us make the new year safer for the children of Iyolwa!
Keywords: Community delivery | Maternal, neonatal and child health