Health by Motorbike
Health by Motorbike
Not-for-profitYear launched: 2010
Country of Operation
- Family planning and reproductive health
- Malaria and other vector borne diseases
- Maternal, newborn and child health
- Primary care
SummaryHealth by Motorbike engages in a number initiatives, including operating a health centre, a motorcycle mobile clinic, and health camps, to deliver basic health education, services and equipment to women and adolescent girls living in the remote areas along the southern coast of Kenya.
Health by Motorbike (HbM) strives to empower the women of rural Kenyan communities through education about malaria, HIV/AIDS, STIs, pre- and post-natal care and immunization as well as by providing basic primary care with the use of a motorbike. In January 2013, four interns began an outreach vaccination campaign in the villages. The program aims to train 60 more health promoters in the next 4 years and install 30 water tanks in 2012-2013.
Health by Motorbike was awarded the prestigious United Nations Public Service Award in 2013 for category 5: “Promoting Gender Responsive Delivery of Public Services” for Gender, Health and Sustainable Development.
Key program components
Health by Motorbike (HbM) engages in a number of initiatives to achieve its goals. It prepares women and girls with culturally sensitive health education by training them as health promoters who will in turn train other women and girls, offering practical solutions to basic health concerns on reproductive health, maternal health, child health, preventable diseases, and treatable infections. They will promote good basic personal and home hygiene and sanitation, as well as provide basic understanding of water-borne disease,waste management and the fundamentals of nutrition. They will also aim to replace superstitious practices with basic medical knowledge and increase awareness about the importance of immunization and pre-and post-natal care.
HbM also provides basic medical assistance by equipping a motorbike with one bag of medical equipment: thermometers, blood pressure machine, mini plastic or paper bags for medications, disposable needles and syringes, scale, mosquito nets for pregnant women and children under five, immunization record sheets and growth charts.
HbM launched the Nikumbuke Health Post in the summer 2010 as a small rented room with very basic equipment and medications. In the summer of 2012, N-HbM built the new Nikumbuke Community Health and Learning Center, expanding its resources to a larger population and offering more services. In 2011, HbM started the "Healthy Smile" program, with dentist Dr. Sido visiting the Nikumbuke Center to provide dental care to nearby residents.
In one program run in 2010 in Lunga Lunga called "Under the Net," HbM distributed materials for making malaria nets to women beyond child-bearing age. This was crucial because, although the government offers free nets for pregnant women and children under 5, these older women are often ignored. In addition, supplying the women with the materials for making nets gave them an income-generating activity.
HbM has launched the "Malaria Street Theater" that consist of a group of women actresses that perform health scripts during the year around their rural communities. The Street Theater has become a hit in the area since the women perform at least twice a month and the villagers look forward to their performance. Children are invited as well so they start learning health lessons at an early age. The Malaria Street Theater perform stories on HIV/AIDS, malaria, infectious diseases, reproduction, sanitation and hygiene, etc. In January 2013, four interns started an outreach vaccination campaign in the villages.
HbM was founded by Araceli Alonso of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Lindy Wafula, Founder and Director of Project Africa, together with help from the University of Wisconsin’s Center for Global Health and the World Pulse network.