22 April 2003
Audit on Flores Project - green light
Using motorcycles to reach out to rural Asia with basic health services receives a green light this week. An independent audit of the work of Health for All (HfA) calls it "unique and innovative" giving "significant improvements". In one area child malnutrition dropped from 167 to 27 in the seven months after the motorcycle was introduced.
HfA is an Indonesian non governmental health organisation formed to manage a fleet of twelve 'zero breakdown' motorcycles. The motorcycles enable government health workers to reach out to 55 remote villages on the island of Flores. It is the first 'zero breakdown' managed motorcycle fleet outside Africa. The new report says that HfA must "anticipate a wider role as health provider in the near future."
One auxiliary health centre quadrupled the number of clients served comparing January 2002 to January 2003. In another area programs covering water and environmental sanitation, maternal health, community nutrition, immunization and home visits all improved drastically.
HfA is currently funded by donators from around the world resulting from the Millennium Motorcycle Ride. This is Englishman Simon Milward's fundraising tour of the world on his handmade motorcycle underway since 1.1.2000. Speaking from Costa Rica in Central America Milward said, "This independent audit exonerates the Flores Project. We are using it to break the passive and wasteful attitude of the donor community and free up the cash for practical education and real sustainability. There are hundreds of thousands of motorcycles to be supplied and a global training programme to be introduced."
Wili Bala, Director of Health for All, said, "The audit has confirmed the results observed in the field and the comments of many parties with regards to the changes brought by 12 units of zero breakdown motorcycles used for health deliveries. They have broken the isolation and improved health condition of the poorest. The head of East Nusa Tenggara Provincial health office commented that such kind of program is a break through to the health approach in this region. While Mrs. Norbertha of East Nusa Tenggara WHO office said that this program is innovative and touches the life of the poor. Yes, we need more support from other partners and our beloved benefactors to save more lives especially of those in the isolated areas."
The audit, conducted by Dr. Adi Sasongko, Director of Health Care for the Kusuma Buana Foundation in Jakarta, can be found at www.millennium-ride.com.
Email: Internet: www.millennium-ride.com Cell: 408 386 8690