How Two Wheels for Life and motorcycles are helping to fight COVID-19 in Africa
A recent announcement confirming cases of Covid-19 in Africa have exceeded one million has highlighted the importance of the fundraising being done by charity Two Wheels for Life (Two Wheels).
Motorcycle health workers are on the frontline of the battle against Covid-19. Healthcare delivery programmes supported by Two Wheels and run by Riders for Health have been stretched to their limits as the job of battling Covid-19 has been added to their usual work.
Now, with the outbreak of Covid-19, they need to transport samples and test results which are essential to prevent spread of this disease, as well as to take information to communities about how they can protect themselves with social distancing, enhanced hygiene and increased emergency transfers.
Two Wheels for Life and Riders for Health co-founder Andrea Coleman said: “The transport networks we have built up over the last 30 years give an advantage to the countries we work in when it comes to tackling a deadly virus like Covid-19. But this is a huge challenge and additional resources are needed to protect these vulnerable populations.”
UK-based charity Two Wheels is working hard to reverse a large funding gap caused by the cancellation of the Day of Champions event normally hosted the day before the British MotoGP™. With the cancellation of the 2020 British MotoGP™ race due to the coronavirus pandemic, Day of Champions was unable to run. This single event usually creates 60% of the crucial annual fundraising efforts.
Two Wheels has supported Riders through the crisis by so far providing:
- Eight motorbikes to use for sample transportation
- Two ambulances for emergency transport patients from rural areas to health facilities
- Funding a temporary member of staff to maintain our high standards in vehicle maintenance
- Specially designed back-packs for motorcycle couriers to move samples for rapid testing.
- Supporting health workers who provide contact tracing and monitoring of quarantine facilities and recruiting and training additional sample transporters.
- The programme’s priority now is to increase the capacity in the motorcycle courier fleet to cope with the demand created by Covid-19.
- Two Wheels have also supported Riders programmes in Nigeria, Liberia, Malawi and The Gambia with services that help health workers provide contact tracing.
- The programmes’ priority now is to increase the capacity in the motorcycle fleets to cope with the demand created by Covid-19.
Mahali Hlasa, Programme Director, Two Wheels for Life, Lesotho said: “We are grateful to the motorcycle racing community for supporting us via Two Wheels for Life. We couldn’t do what we do without their incredible help, particularly at these critical times.”
About Two Wheels for Life
Two Wheels for Life is an organisation that supports programmes that ensure health care reaches the poorest and most remote communities in Africa.
As the official charity of MotoGP™, Two Wheels for Life (Two Wheels) run unique events for motorcycle racing fans. These include exclusive paddock experiences across Europe, internationally renowned auctions and their Day of Champions family day out before the British MotoGP™ which raises 200k alone.
The programmes they support operate across Africa in Lesotho, Malawi, Nigeria and The Gambia. Focusing on the single issue of transport for health workers, they address essential but otherwise neglected aspect of health care in Africa.
Health workers immunise newborns, diagnose disease, educate in nutrition for children, provide preventative measures to combat disease and help for women in dangerous labour. These services must reach the most remote parts of Africa where it is desperately needed. To do this reliable transport is vital.
In many parts of Africa the terrain is difficult and there is nothing like the network of garages and service centres we rely on in Europe. Transport is haphazard. Vehicles break down, clinics don’t get run, tests are delayed, women with complications give birth unaided. And the consequences are deadly.
The programmes Two Wheels for Life support ensure that health workers are able to use motorcycles and other vehicles that are appropriate for the terrain. They are trained to ride and maintain their vehicles regularly and given access to the fuel and clothing they need to do their jobs reliably and safely.
Two Wheels for Life was founded by Andrea Coleman, a former motorcycle racer with 30 years experience in charity leadership and MotoGP legend Randy Mamola.