On the 4thof March 2015, Riders signed a tripartite agreement with the Ministry of Health (MoH) and the General Services Agency (GSA) for vehicle fleet management in Liberia marking the birth of a new program. In the second week of April the very first Ebola samples were transported by Riders for Health couriers, making it the fastest implementation ever by a Riders for Health program.
Riders Liberia manages Ministry of Health Liberia’s national fleet with a total count of 534 vehicles (281 motor vehicles to include ambulances and trekking vehicles, 183 motorcycles, and 70 Sample courier motorcycles) for Liberia’s health system. Six maintenance hubs were built across Liberia, 37 technicians were trained from MoH and GSA. Riders employs 404 Liberian who are managers, technicians, drivers and sample transport couriers- to handle bio hazardous materials. All these were trained to Riders for Health standard. All in all a total of 666 drivers/motorcycle riders (356 drivers and 311 motorcycle riders) were trained in advanced driving/riding and basic preventive maintenance during implementation, going a long way in the improvement of Road safety.
Other than fleet management Riders runs a national sample transport system using 70 couriers with 302 pick-up points, working with partners connecting all health centres to the laboratories in Liberia. The national sample transport system in Liberia was set up within two months, a record in Riders for health systems. Riders for Health Liberia has been transporting an average of 3500 samples reaching a peak of a 5053 samples/month during the heightened Ebola surveillance. Before Riders 75% of the samples took more than 24 hours to reach laboratories, with Riders for Health involvement an average of 78% of samples arrive at laboratories within 24 hrs utilising a new innovative relay system to respond to the large distances.
In Liberia, Riders for Health has been funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) via the World Health Organization (WHO), CDC Foundation and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC )
Innovative vehicle management principles
Built on over 20 years of experience in managing vehicles in Africa, we have developed vehicle management solutions founded on three core principles, integral to all that we do:
• Preventive maintenance: Riders’ preventive maintenance system will replace parts on vehicles at regular intervals to avoid breakdowns. Our system keeps fleets running, in better condition, for the duration of their intended mechanical lifetime. As well as having workshops across our programmes, we operate an outreach maintenance system where our technicians bring our services to where the partner is working. They travel to a convenient location to conduct regularmaintenance on the motorcycles and vehicles, saving time and money.
• Training of vehicle users: As important as the maintenance itself, training is critical in keeping vehicle users safe and optimising the life of the vehicle. We willtrain vehicle users in defensive driving and basic maintenance checks every year.
Planning and budgeting: Our unique pricing models enable our partners to manage and budget for on-going running costs. We can offer additional advice and support for setting appropriate budgets for the delivery of sustainable health programmes. We can also advise on the selection of appropriate vehicles for the environment and for our partners’ programmes, our technical team are on-hand to help.
Riders offers our partners customised transport solutions including the following:
♦ Planning and budgeting assistance for managed transport systems
♦ Vehicle selection and procurement
♦ Training of vehicle users in basic and advanced riding/driving and basic maintenance
♦ Routing and scheduling for vehicles to maximise efficiency
♦ Outreach maintenance, sending our technicians to service vehicles where they are based
♦ Preventive maintenance to replace parts before they break down
♦ Reliable supply of genuine replacement parts
♦ Fuel management
♦ Insurance coverage through third parties
♦ Monitoring and evaluation of programmes
♦ Supply chain distribution and health courier services
Managing 1,300 vehicles across seven African countries, Riders produces results for partners including:
• Increased vehicle longevity
• Reduced vehicle downtime due to outreach and preventive maintenance
• Reliable supply chain of high-quality replacement parts
• Safer riders and drivers and fewer accidents
• Long-term cost savings
• Reduced time spent on vehicle management issues as a result of outsourcing
• Predictable budgeting and no unexpected repair costs
• Regular reporting on vehicle usage
• Improved health outcomes as a result of reliable transport systems