Health Care and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Health Care and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. Tsepo Kotelo’s story shows the critical need for something not usually on the global to-do list for Third World health:  motorcycle maintenance.

  Lesotho has some of the world’s highest rates of AIDS and tuberculosis, and much of Kotelo’s time is spent counseling and testing people for these diseases, giving talks about AIDS prevention, and helping people stick to their treatment plans and deal with side effects. He also checks the water supply, helps villagers improve sanitation, weighs and immunizes babies, examines pregnant women and treats basic diseases.

Until 2008 Kotelo could visit only three villages a week, because he had to reach them on foot, walking for miles and miles.  But in February of that year, Kotelo got a motorcycle ─ the best vehicle for reaching rural villages in Africa, most of which are nowhere near a real road.  Just as crucial, he was given the tools to keep the bike on the road:  he received a helmet and protective clothing, he was taught to ride and trained to start each day with a quick check of the bike.  His motorcycle is also tuned up monthly by a technician who comes to him.  Now, instead of spending his days walking to his job, he can do his job.