Two Wheels for Life: a special trip to Africa

After being thoroughly briefed on the specific fieldwork TWFL carries out in the gorgeous country of Lesotho, where we were fortunate enough to visit the hospitals where the magic happens, we were able to ‘ride’ a mile in the shoes of the Health Workers and the Sample Couriers. We rode on the bikes they ride, a Suzuki DR200 for this occasion, we went through the villages they visit, we suffered the challenges they encountered. But we were there on a holiday-ish visit. These Health Workers, who were not born knowing how to ride an off-road bike, had to be imaginative when they had to go to the remote villages to pick up blood samples – crucial in the rapid diagnose of HIV or tuberculosis – to be taken back to the health centres in bigger towns, or when they had to reach the furthest little group of huts to deliver some medicines. Roads don’t always exist, and when they do, they are gnarly and often muddy paths that look like an Enduro track. Thanks to the acquired riding skills of the Health Workers, blood samples are transported quickly to the clinics to be analysed, the same goes for the results of the test. The Basotho (the Lesotho inhabitants) could now be informed whether their results were positive or negative in a matter of days, whereas before TWFL became in charge of the transportation for the Lesotho Ministry of Health, citizens took months to find out about the results, often not living long enough to receive the news. For us, it was a field day on beautiful cross-country paths with amazing green scenery, as we were blessed with the rains and mud during our stay. But what it must be to do this with a specifically designed backpack full of blood samples

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