Release Date: 02 November 2006
Release ID: 1110
The Head of Motorcycle Rider Training with the Metropolitan Police has returned from a two week assignment with international development agency Transaid, where he has been working as part of a major project to improve the way health transport is managed in Kenya's Coast and North East Provinces.
Eighty per cent of people in Kenya live in rural areas and motorcycle riders enable medical staff and supplies to reach remote villages which are not served by roads. An international donor has pledged 36 motorcycles to the health service and Transaid's role is to ensure they will be operated and managed safely and efficiently.
Chris Latham's brief was to train a group of rider trainers working within the Ministry, who could then go on to teach colleagues and new recruits the ins and outs of motorcycle best practice.
On arrival in Kenya, Chris found that his students' riding and technical abilities were at such a basic level that his focus switched from training trainers to basic skills development.
"The condition of the training motorcycles was incredibly poor and even verging on dangerous in some cases," says Chris. "I therefore developed a programme which focused on teaching the importance of planned preventive maintenance and daily safety checks, as any fleet here in the UK would adopt as a matter of course."
Chris made huge progress with many of the students during his time in Kenya, and Transaid hopes to return in 2007 to help them to further develop their skills and to reach the goal of becoming trainers themselves.
His assignment is part of a Transaid project to develop a Transport System for the Kenyan Ministry of Health. The project is being supported by DANIDA, the Danish government's aid agency, which is funding new health vehicles and wants to ensure that both the new and existing Ministry vehicles enjoy a long and productive working life.
Transaid's contribution is part of the Kenyan national strategy to improve the health of people in Kenya by making services more effective, accessible and affordable.
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