Bicycles in Rwanda Help Save Lives

Community Health Workers

“The arrival of this bicycle is the most significant event that has occurred in our community since I began working as a CHW in 2005,” he says with a broad smile. “I guard it preciously. In fact, when I hear some noise in the night, the first thing I think of is my bicycle. With this bicycle I can now see three times as many children as before. I also use it to bring some children to the Health Centre.”

“Transportation is a key challenge here,” says Bridgit, the head of the Kirarambogo Health Centre. “These bicycles have greatly increased access to health care for the children and their mothers. The number of home visits has doubled within the past three months. More children are being seen. Data is collected and submitted on time. Giving the CHWs the bicycles instead of cash for transport is a very good thing as they use the bicycles for other health and development related activities in the village as well. This is very good for our village.”

MFH, with funding from Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, has been assisting this community since September 2011. Last year MFH provided bicycles to 90 CHWs in Kiraramabogo. Within the first quarter of last year, the CHWs made a total of 40,950 home visits. Health education talks were provided to 8,505 community members.

Before I left, I asked Bridget if she had any special requests. She said, ‘We pray that it will be possible for you to have enough funds to buy more bicycles for the other CHWs. Due to increase in the cost of bicycles here, the Health Centre could not purchase enough for everyone.” “Amen,” I responded.

This story was reported by MFH Program Director, Kenneth Muko.