HEALTH ACCESS CORPS FOUNDER TO TAKE THE STAGE AT TED2017, JOINING NEWEST CLASS OF 15 YOUNG INNOVATORS FROM FOUR CONTINENTS.
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, JANUARY 10, 2017—Our Founder Christopher Ategeka has been selected as a TED Fellow, joining a class of 15 change-makers from around the world who will deliver a talk on the TED stage this April in Vancouver Canada. A full list of the new TED Fellows and Senior Fellows is available at ted.com/fellows.
Founded in 2009, the TED Fellows program has 414 Fellows from 87 countries, whose talks have collectively been viewed more than 145 million times. In its eight-year history, the TED Fellows program has created a powerful, far-reaching network – made up of scientists, doctors, activists, artists, entrepreneurs, inventors, journalists and beyond -- leading to many meaningful and unexpected collaborations including BRCK, the self-powered, mobile WiFi device designed in Kenya; Mappr, the data visualization platform recently acquired by Slice Technologies; and Brick x Brick, a public art performance inspired by the 2016 election that builds human “walls” against misogyny.
We are thrilled to welcome our newest class of TED Fellows, an incredible group of exceptional achievers with exemplary character,” said TED Fellows founder and director Tom Rielly. “Our Fellows tell us that the biggest benefit of the program is the other Fellows themselves – the mutual support, professional and personal, and the deep, lasting connections. The collaborative spirit of the program yields a powerful network where each person profoundly influences each other, and the group as a whole functions as a supercomputer to which each Fellow has personal access.”
About the TED Fellows program
The TED Fellows program brings together young innovators from around the world and across disciplines, who display both outstanding achievement and exemplary character, to raise international awareness of their work and maximize their impact. The program offers Fellows full participation in a TED or TEDGlobal Conference, a two-day pre-conference of workshops and activities, a Fellows Retreat, ongoing professional coaching and mentoring, dedicated PR coaching and active participation in the TED community, including the global TED Fellows network. Founded in 2009, the TED Fellows program now includes 414 Fellows from 87 countries.
Complete list of all new 2017 TED Fellows and TED Senior Fellows: ted.com/fellows
Infographic: Measuring the Impact of the TED Fellows
Playlist: Top 10 talks by TED Fellows
As we move into 2017, we've got BIG changes ahead and are rebranding to match our vision.
Rides for Lives will be changing its name to Health Access Corps
In 2011 when we started this journey, our mission was to provide appropriate technologies for healthcare access to the world’s most vulnerable populations in East Africa. Our signature products being The Mobile Hospital and The Village Ambulance.
After 5years in the field, we have learned that the biggest problem is not getting someone to the hospital fast enough nor bringing a mobile hospital to them in the village (though those problems still exist and need a permanent solution). The main problem is the lack of access to a doctor or any other trained medical professional when a patient arrives at the medical facilities.
We have been facing this reality day in and day out and we needed to do something about it. Thus, we create a sustainable and a much scalable solution to solve this problem utilizing local talent.
Health Access Corps was born!
What are we hoping to Achieve moving forward?
Our Vision: A world where every human being has access to quality healthcare
Our Mission: To sustainably strengthen healthcare systems in Sub-Saharan Africa using local talent to combat the extreme shortage of healthcare professionals in underserved areas.
How ? By providing competitive compensation and support of local health care professionals such as Doctors, nurses and Midwives within their local communities!
Interesting enough, most African countries' education systems graduate a fair number of health care professionals good enough to reduce on lack of access problem in the region. Sadly, the professionals who are lucky enough to get a paid job are overworked and underpaid. The ones unable to find paying jobs, join different sectors with better opportunities or leave the country in order to find jobs abroad.
The Irony here is that: On one hand you witness many people suffering and some times dying on hospital floors due to lack of access to trained health professionals; on the other had you see a massive number of trained health professionals a) not practicing medicine but working in other fields b) leaving their native countries headed for foreign lands in search for better opportunities for them and their families. At Health Access Corps we are here to put an end to this "epidemic"!
Isn't this the work of the governments? The way health systems are set up today, Its a privilege for a few; yet it should be a right for all! Yes, providing social services is supposed to be the work of the governments! However, if the governments were doing their job well; non-profits would not exist. Most non-profits exist to fill in the gaps, giving voice to the voiceless and advocating for the marginalized. Our ultimate goal is systems change. We hope that if we do our job right with good data that show positive impact the governments should be able to pick it up from there. But until enough people collectively raise their voices; poorest of the poor will always sit there wishing and hoping while their loved ones are dying in their arms.
Together, We are...HEALTH ACCESS CORPS
Same commitment on ensuring health Equity for all!
Happy New Year 2017!!
Moses Drileyo is a young boy hailing from the Maracha District in Northern Uganda.
Like most young boys he enjoys playing outdoors. One afternoon as he was climbing a tree he
slipped and fell, landing on a large rock. Having trouble breathing and with his chest injured he
desperately needed medical attention. However, unlike most boys in countries like the US, he
could not depend upon an emergency helpline to send him an ambulance, nor could he use a car
or a bus to reach the local health clinic. Instead, Moses patiently bore the pain as his mother,
Salomi, secured him on her back and carried him 5 kilometers on the dusty, unpaved, and
unending road to the medical center.
Unfortunately Moses’s injuries could not be treated by the small and poorly equipped
health center. He needed to go to the hospital. The district’s one ambulance was unavailable and
Salomi could not afford the 65,000 UGX it would cost in fuel to hire it. Roughly equivalent to 19
USD, for most Ugandans this meager amount represents two-weeks salary. The 39 kilometers
separating her son from the help he needed seemed like an insurmountable barrier. Accessing
healthcare seemed impossible. As Salomi frantically considered carrying Moses to the hospital
help arrived in the form of a Rides for Lives vehicle. Designed to traverse Uganda’s uneven
roads, our vehicles make the ride to a health center cheap, convenient, and comfortable. 39
kilometers was no longer an obstacle!
Moses received the medical attention he needed, his breathing stabilized, and his
condition improved. However, without Rides for Lives he might never have received the
treatment he required. For those who live in the villages of Maracha and other similar areas
accessible and affordable health care is a distant dream. Patients must choose between riding in
an often unavailable and always expensive ambulance and relying on relatives to carry them on
long and rugged roads to reach a hospital. Uganda’s poor are more vulnerable to health issues
than the rich. However, they are also less equipped to fight it. With health services being both
unavailable as well as geographically and financially inaccessible, the poor are more likely to
succumb to diseases. At the same time being unwell prevents them from working, thereby
exacerbating their poverty. They are trapped in a vicious, self-fulfilling cycle that can only be
broken by addressing the causes of both poverty and ill health. Thus, what is needed is long-term
systemic change that generates jobs, brings prosperity to the people, increases investments in
healthcare, and reduces the risk of falling sick. At Rides for Lives we hope to be a part of this
change by building locally manufactured vehicles that provide a fighting chance to all those
suffering, sick, or injured by making the ride to the hospital an affordable, reliable, and stress-
The United States has earned the dubious distinction of being the industrialized country with the highest healthcare spending but a persistently unhealthy population. This is because the high spending is accompanied by an equally high increase in medical costs making health care out of reach for the millions of low income Americans living paycheck to paycheck. The great American reality of growing income inequality means that while the rich can afford to fall sick, the poor cannot. Thus, the size of one’s bank balance becomes the barrier preventing sick people from seeking medical attention. A healthcare system that only works for the upper classes is clearly sick and the Affordable Care Act (or Obamacare) aims to treat it by attacking the tumor causing all the problems - the rising costs. By reducing insurance and treatment costs for middle and low-income families, Obamacare hopes to make healthcare an easily obtainable necessity rather than a privilege bestowed on the wealthy.
The problem in Uganda is similar except instead of high costs you have long, dusty, unpaved roads and instead of Obamacare you have our Mobile Health Units. For the millions of Ugandans living in rural regions the closest healthcare facility can be as far as 10km. For a pregnant woman in labor, a young boy symptomatic of malaria, or an elderly person with AIDS traversing this 10km is the difference between life and death. Yet for 68% of those living in these isolated villages there are no cars, buses, trains, or even ambulances to help them reach a doctor. They have no choice but to walk often despite excruciating pain, often with time running out, just to reach a rudimentary healthcare facility and be faced with overflowing waiting rooms, missing doctors, expensive drugs, and unsanitary operating rooms. Thus, the problem starts with distance and is compounded by poverty. By moving from village to village conducting health check ups and providing affordable drugs, our Mobile Health Units strive to fight both problems. These clinics on wheels bring medical help to the patients rather than the other way around hence making health care easily accessible to the poor.
The US spends about $8000 per person on health care while Uganda spends a meager $106. This $7894 difference accounts for the better hospitals, better doctors, and better care that the US health care system offers. Although these benefits are not equally available to all, the government has taken a step to do so with Obamacare. In Uganda the problems are different and require more innovative solutions like those provided by the Mobile Health Units. However, whether it’s a developed super power or a developing Sub-Saharan nation, health care continues to evade the poor. Perhaps it is time for us to analyze the symptoms more carefully, diagnose the problem, and execute a treatment plan that can make access basic care a universal right.
Written by Stuti Ginodia
Here are 3 facts about healthcare in Uganda.
57: The Life Expectancy at Birth
Uganda is ranked 175 out of 193 countries in terms of life expectancy. In contrast, the United States is ranked 34, with an average life expectancy of 80 years old! The lower life expectancy in Uganda, and in other developing nations, can be attributed to treatable and preventable causes, but often communities there have no way of reaching professional help.
12: The number of doctors per 100,000 people in Uganda.
The people of Uganda heavily rely on nurses, aid workers, and other sources of health-care as the country is truly understaffed in terms of doctors. Seeing a doctor face-to-face is out of reach for the average person.
Just to compare, the United States has 242 doctors per 100,000 people.
84.4%: The percentage of the population that is rural in Uganda.
With an overall population of about 36 million people, a huge majority still live in rural pockets and most make a living as farmers in the agriculture industry. Much of the existing health-care infrastructure in Uganda is built for the urban populations, which leaves the rest of the population left to fend for themselves.
I am incredibly excited to announce the launch of Rides For Lives! By shedding our previous identity as CA Bikes, we can fully dedicate ourselves towards our ambitious new mission, which is to save lives and forge healthy communities. By working with local residents and resources we build adaptive, cost-efficient emergency ambulances to bring health-care access to isolated people.