Royal Showcase celebrates lives saved

“Last November Josephine had just collected a pregnant woman to transfer to the health facility when she encountered a second woman, also in labour, and struggling to walk to the same medical centre. Josephine moved the first woman to the rear of the bicycle and placed the second woman – whose condition was more serious – on the stretcher. She then cycled the remaining two hours to the health facility unaided, saving all four lives.”

Addressing 100 corporate supporters, Chief Executive Gary Forster told Josephine’s story as an example of Transaid’s life-saving work at our annual HRH showcase event on 21 October, held at the London offices of law firm Eversheds.

Josephine Mupeta from Zambia is a volunteer health worker, who rides a bicycle ambulance placed in her community as part of a Transaid maternal health programme. She is just one example of how our bicycle ambulance projects have empowered local communities to do more. A team of 200 trained bicycle ambulance riders transferred 4,105 mothers to health facilities in the first two years of the project.

Gary said: “We are hugely grateful to the transport industry for funding the original research which led to the introduction of bicycle ambulances and we thank Comic Relief for financing the scale-up of this programme, which allows us to work with partners in-country to continue saving lives.”

Transaid’s Patron The Princess Royal praised both the fundraising support and access to skills that Transaid receives from the transport and logistics industry. Commenting on the professional driver training projects, she said: “Your support is vital to our ability to help the local partners we work with, as well as to inspire professionals on the ground. Our ability to improve road safety through the proper training of trainers means we can make a huge impact.”

Visitors to the showcase also heard first-hand accounts of Transaid’s work from Silvio Sorrentino, Operations Manager for ALSA (part of National Express Group), who spent three months managing a professional driver training scheme for truck and bus drivers in Malawi. Silvio was joined by Dr Yvette Ribaira, Deputy Chief of Party for the new USAID Community Capacity for Health programme in Madagascar . Dr Ribaira is employed by JSI Research & Training Institute, Inc. (JSI) and is a medical doctor with a master’s degree in public health, who has dedicated nearly 20 years of her life to improving community health in Madagascar – in the last five years working closely with Transaid.