Riders for Health is an international NGO working to improve the capacity and efficiency of health care delivery in Africa.
Riders’ vision is of a world in which no one will die of an easily preventable or curable disease because barriers of distance, terrain, or poverty prevent them from being reached. Riders’ mission is to strengthen health systems by addressing one of the most neglected, yet vital, aspects of development for the health of Africa – transport and logistics.
Riders for Health manages motorcycles, ambulances, and other four-wheel vehicles used in the delivery of health care in seven countries across Africa.
They work with ministries of health, international and African NGOs, private-sector organizations, local community-based organizations, and religious groups, to improve access to health care for over 21 million people.
Riders’ programs provide training and employment opportunities to build local capacity. Their network of highly skilled technicians regularly travels to service vehicles in the communities that health workers serve. This means that health workers don’t waste valuable time travelling to a garage when they could be with their patients.
One of the greatest barriers to healthcare delivery in remote areas is transportation.
Riders for Health places vehicles on preventative maintenance schedules, eliminating breakdowns, reducing costs, and improving efficiency.
Andrea and Barry Coleman leveraged their love of motorcycles and motorcycle racing to transform health care in rural Africa.
Transport management solutions contribute to higher immunization rates and reduced maternal and child mortality.
Health workers in Africa consistently and sustainably have access to reliable transportation.
Demonstration and Replication
Increase number of institutions engaging Riders’ services.
Market the program using data on social and financial return on investment.
Andrea and Barry Coleman share a passion for motorcycles. Andrea is a former racer and Barry is a journalist and author. Through the racing world, they became involved in fundraising for children in Africa. Visiting the communities served by the charities they supported, Barry and Andrea noticed broken vehicles everywhere, many that could have been returned to service with minor repairs and maintenance. They saw women in childbirth being carried to the hospital in wheelbarrows, one of whom died during their visit. Frustrated that aid agencies abandoned vehicles rather than commit to basic repairs, the Colemans decided to fix the problem themselves. They re-mortgaged their house and founded Riders for Health, to ensure delivery of essential healthcare services to rural Africa, with a Transport Resource Management system that places vehicles on preventative maintenance schedules. The system virtually eliminates breakdowns, reduces costs, and greatly improves vehicle efficiency. By 2006, Riders had served about 10 million people, primarily in Zimbabwe, Nigeria and The Gambia, by maintaining about 1,300 vehicles. Much of this work was conducted through small contracts to provide service to regions or districts, or to vehicle fleets owned by health ministries or international agencies. Riders was also working to raise awareness of how reliable, consistent transport is crucial to effective health care delivery among ministries of health and the international health care funding community.