It added that the program is intended to help reduce death of children from malaria and other severe childhood illness.
Malaria Consortium has trained more than 200 motorcycle taxi operators commonly referred to as Bodaboda in a pilot project aimed at offering timely and safe transport for sick children to the nearest health facilities. Malaria Consortium is a Non Governmental Organization whose work focuses on Malaria control. In a statement issued on Wednesday, Malaria Consortium said it was experimenting the program in Bunghoko North health sub district in Mbale. The organization explained that Village Health Teams-VHTs in the area were working together with bodaboda riders who have been trained on road safety to transport sick children referred to the health facilities.
It added that the program is intended to help reduce death of children from malaria and other severe childhood illness. The program is being implemented in partnership with Ministry of Health, Mbale Regional Referral Hospital, Mbale District Health Authorities, Central Public Health Laboratories and the communities. To achieve its aim, the partners hope to establish and train Village Health Teams comprising community volunteers to recognize the symptoms of malaria and other childhood illnesses and refer the affected children to a health facility.
Other objectives, according to Malaria Consortium is to develop a functional communityâ€facility referral system, ensure the availability of medicines to treat malaria and related health supplies in health facilities and to strengthen health worker’s skills to diagnose and treat malaria and other childhood illnesses. Dr. Nathan Kenyaâ€Mugisha, Programme Manager of the Mbale Malaria Control Project said access to public health services was very limited in the region. He added that the difficulty of accessing transport meant children often delayed to get treatment.
Health workers based at the health facilities are to pay the bodaboda riders upon delivery of the patients. The riders are paid according to details such as distance covered that is indicated on the vouchers prepared by the Village Health Teams making the referral.