Riders for Health is currently working with the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare (MoHCW) and other health partners in Zimbabwe to re-scale our operations across the country since the economic crisis and to identify new areas of need.
Re-mobilising outreach health workers
Riders is working to re-mobilise 300 Environmental Health Technicians (EHTs) across Zimbabwe. Partnering with regional health teams, EHTs provide essential outreach services including disease control, immunisations, health education and water and sanitation work.
Sample Transport (ST)
Riders currently operates three distinct ST systems is support of the MoHCW with the following partners: The International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, the Clinton Health Access Initiative and the Zimbabwe National Quality Assurance Program (ZINQAP). Our ST services connect health centres to laboratories across three urban centres; Harare, Bulawayo and Chitungwiza, and we have also started to expand into rural districts.
Riders’ motorcycle courier service was specifically designed to reduce the delay in monitoring and diagnosing disease like HIV and tuberculosis.
Our dedicated motorcycle couriers transport patient specimens between health centres and the laboratory in a professional, consistent and controlled manner. After analysis, the test results are returned and patients can be started on a suitable course of treatment as soon as possible.
Situated just outside Harare, Riders’ International Academy of Vehicle Management (IAVM) is integral to our culture of preventive maintenance and building local capacity. We offer courses in safe driving and motorcycle riding and vehicle maintenance. We also use this facility for the training of our own technical staff from other Riders’ country programmes. The IAVM opened in 2002 and since then, we have trained over 1,700 health workers.
In Zimbabwe, Riders’ transport management systems enable our partners to provide access to reliable health care to rural communities. This leads to increased positive health seeking behaviour.
- The Ministry of Health and Child Welfare (MoHCW)
- Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI)
- The International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union)
- The Zimbabwe National Quality Assurance Program (ZINQAP)
Following 10 years of major economic downturn and political instability, Zimbabwe is currently in the bottom quartile of countries on the United Nations Human Development Index. Zimbabwe is home to 12.5 million people - 80% of whom live on less than $2 a day. At just 49 years, it has one of the lowest life-expectancies in the world. Exacerbated by a wave of cholera epidemics, which are both preventable and treatable, the spread of communicable diseases is a major public health threat for the population of Zimbabwe.
Over 60% of Zimbabwe’s population live in rural locations, yet only 19% of the road network is paved. Characterised by tarred roads and dirt tracks, travel is difficult, and without a reliable transport system in place, the delivery of even the most basic health care services is extremely difficult.
For diseases such as TB and HIV/AIDS, one of the major challenges in getting patients on the appropriate treatment is the time delay in the delivery of diagnostic results.
This delay not only has serious health repercussions for both the individuals involved and their communities, but can also lead to a lack of faith in the health care system.
Riders began working in Zimbabwe in 1998 in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare.
In 2002, we established a training school in Harare called the International Academy of Vehicle Maintenance (IAVM) offering courses in safe driving and motorcycle riding and vehicle maintenance.
In 2008, the economic crisis severely restricted the movement of vehicles managed by Riders, and we were forced to scale down our operations.
In 2010, the introduction of the US Dollar stabilised the economy and Riders Zimbabwe was recapitalised by our UK support office. Riders introduced Sample Transport programmes designed to reduce the delay in diagnosing disease, initially in partnership with CHAI and The Union.
Our head office is located in Ruwa and we have regional workshops in Chinhoyi, Bindura, Bulawayo, Gweru, Harare and Mutare.
Outreach health workers are able to spend double the number of days in their communities each week. Mobilised with a reliable vehicle, a health worker has more time to travel to rural communities and spend longer offering outreach health services.
Programme Director: Anold Kanjanga
Formerly the deputy director for administration and logistics at the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare, Anold has a great understanding of the importance of good transport in delivering health care.
If you would like to discuss how Riders can support you, then please get in touch:Enquiry form
Before the programme started, samples were collected late resulting in high rejections. Now samples are collected early and results quickly delivered resulting in patients being started on treatment on time. Sister Changunda, Kambuzuma Polyclinic, Harare