Captain’s Log- 2 October 2012-Motorcycle Ambulance

MSF’s new motorcycle sidecar ambulance in Zobia. Appropriate Technology!

Flying the MSF route last week I was met at the Zobia airstrip by the new motorcycle ambulance.  It is quite a thing of beauty when you think that many of the patients have to be carried for many long hours, or even days sometimes, to get to medical treatment.  I have talked before on this blog about guys bouncing down rough dirt roads on the back of a motorcycle with broken legs or big open wounds in their abdomens and then lying on the ground under the wing trying to gather themselves together before getting into the plane.  Although there is no perfect solution for these rough roads, this is a great improvement and I enjoyed seeing it in action.

There is even a little Rickshaw type shade cover and you can sit or lie down. Very cool. CAU our MAF Caravan is in the background.

Here is how it works: The patient can either sit or lie down.  There is a bit of storage space under the bed and a rickshaw type of cover to protect from the tropical sun for a bit more comfort.  Seems that the motorcycle sidecar ambulance is the appropriate technology for this area of Congo!

On the way home through Nebobongo I was given a big plastic bag to take to one of our workers in Nyankunde.  When I picked it up to put it in the plane my hands were pricked by many little stickers and it seemed to be alive.  I opened the bag and saw that it was caterpillar season again in the Ituri forest. Caterpillars are a delicacy throughout Africa and I have seen them piled a meter high in some markets.  Yummy.  And good for scratchy throat!

Lovely caterpillars for supper. Very good for scratchy throat!

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3 Responses to Captain’s Log- 2 October 2012-Motorcycle Ambulance

  1. Ian Avery says:

    Hi ,
    Thanks for putting this information up on your blog.
    I have just found this whilst searching for updates on our bikes ( eRanger Ambulances), it;’s great to see them in use in Congo, MSF also have some in Chad. We now have over 1000 working in over 17 Sub Saharan Africa, Afghanistan and Haiti.
    If you would like more information please let me know or visit our website Please keep us informed should you see any more of the eRangers.
    Thanks once again for the information.

  2. Dianna G. says:

    Thanks for telling us about the motorcycle ambulance! Very cool! Caterpillars for dinner … probably an acquired taste! Enjoy!

    • jcadd says:

      We had guests that night and I showed them the Caterpillars as appetizers before they went on the grill. Can you believe they turned them down?

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