New Bikes in 2020
In 2020, Ms Abazesi, the Health Director, continued to highlight the insufficiency of motorbikes. As many clinics still did not have even one, the delivery of health services to local communities was seriously hampered. As the original Yamaha had been well used and maintained at the Balungu Clinic for more than two years, Dr Nana's trustees agreed to purchase three TVS125e bikes. These rugged Indian bikes are recommended by the Regional Health Service as suitable for use in the Talensi terrain but are a lot cheaper than the Yamahas at GHC5,500 (about £750) each.
Dr Nana also agreed to purchase crash-helmets for the riders, security chains and floor-mounted lock anchors to secure the bikes when not in use.
It was agreed the bikes would remain under Peal Deng ownership until the end of 2021 and Dr Nana would provide GHC1800 (about £245) per quarter to cover maintenance and running costs. Mr Bangrey would inspect the bikes monthly when they were being serviced and he would periodically visit the nurses allocated the bikes at their base clinic. This would reassure Dr Nana that the bikes remained in good condition and enable trustees to learn more about the staff using the bikes and how they assisted them in their work.
The bikes were handed over at an official ceremony on November 25, 2020. This was attended by Mr and Mrs Bangrey representing Peal Deng and Dr Nana; the District Health Director and her senior staff; the three Chairs of the Community Health Committees where the bikes had been allocated; and the Talensi Police Commander.
Mr Bangrey read a speech sent by the Dr Nana CEO, who could not attend due to the pandemic, explaining the background to the donation and emphasising Dr Nana'a expectation that the bikes would be kept secure and well-maintained, and ridden with care. The Health Director thanked Dr Nana and Peal Deng for the bikes and their continued support for the District. The Chairs said they embraced the responsibility for ensuring the security of the bikes as a valuable community asset; the police commander said his officers would respond if they had information the bikes had been stolen or were being used for non-work purposes.
L: Health Staff; C: Police Commander; R: Peal Deng
Community Health Committee Chairs
New bikes given a run-around
How are the bikes being used? Visits by Mr Bangrey in February 2021
In Sawaliga, community nurse Alice Asampana Agandaa with her baby on her back, works alone. Until recently she held clinics under a mango tree. Now she can see patients in a partly completed building, where the only furniture or equipment are a few plastic chairs. The motorbike now enables her carry out home visits, and has made a huge difference.
In these short video clips, Francis Agebige, the community nurse says the bike should help for many years to come. He gives examples of how he is using it. He talks about where the bike is refuelled and maintained. He thanks Dr Nana.
At Talfel, Mr Bangrey met the Community Health Committee. Speaking in their local language, they said that the Dr Nana motorbike is the main means of delivering health services to the community, where there is no clinic building. The nurse, Ataburo Derrick, sits in the shade of the hut to see patients who can walk there. Now he can visit those who cannot walk, including the new born. He can also go to the Sub-district compound to pick up drugs and vaccines. The women are pleased that a mother in labour at night can be taken on the bike to the nearest health centre. The Community Elders said the bike was strictly for health delivery only and they were committed to ensuring its security.
Bike security and maintenance
On 31 December 2020 and 3 January 2021, Mr Bangrey installed steel anchors at the bikes' base stations to which they can be locked when not in use.
The bikes are recalled to the District HQ once a month for routine maintenance. Here, 1 February 2021