Bike ‘ambulances’ join Africa relief programme

Published: 07 July 2011

These purpose-built sidecar ‘ambulances’ are the latest form of motorcycling aid to be used in Africa and across the world. Based on Chinese JH125 and JH200s, they are designed in the UK then built in South Africa by e-Ranger who specialise in adapting vehicles for relief projects in the developing world.

The lightweight, four-strokes are fitted with a rugged, purpose-built sidecar loaded with medical equipment and capable of carrying a prone patient. They are used to transport patients to health centres and hospitals often more quickly than traditional four-wheeled ambulances.

The design is kept as simple and strong as possible to ensure reliability and easy repair. Leading link front suspension is used while ‘roof’ bars and an all-weather cover help protect the passenger.

“The advantage of the motorbikes is that they can easily be managed at a lower level health facility,” said Joyce Mphaya of UNICEF, who use the machines in countries such as Sudan, Kenya and Afghanistan. “It is cost-effective in terms of fuel and you can easily move with the motorbikes to remote places, where there are no roads or where cars cannot go.”
UNICEF and e-Ranger hope that by the end of 2011 1000 of the machines will be in service across the globe.
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