In 2009 health centre nurses from across the small, mountainous kingdom of Lesotho gathered in a local medical clinic at the foot of the Thaba Busio Hill to receive our solar and wind-up radios. Idlett Polane, 49, could hardly control her excitement. “It will be a great psychological boost for the patients!” she exclaimed. Other nurses, both male and female, enthusiastically agreed. Lifeline Energy distributed the radios to the health centre nurses, to enable patients to listen to the news, health programmes – especially on HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis – and other vital life skills information, while they wait to be seen. Excellent health content was available, there was just no way to access it.
In addition to breaking the monotony of the day, lightening the sombre atmosphere in the waiting rooms and distracting the patients from their pain and suffering, the radios allowed nurses to get on with their duties and care for the sick.
This project, in collaboration with Riders for Health, distributed 200 radios to health centres in remote areas of Lesotho. Using motorcycles, Riders for Health provided a reliable and effective transport system, whereby anti-retroviral drugs and regular health care are delivered to people in isolated and hard to reach areas. The radios assisted health professionals and nurses spread critical medical information and educate patients on the prevention and treatment of various diseases.