Buzzing down the dusty roads of Uganda, volunteers from the Great Lakes Peace Center leave a hospital in the town of Kasese to bring hepatitis health services to villages throughout the mountainous Rwenzori subregion on the western border of the country.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, this has become the regular routine of volunteers from the Center, a grassroots, youth-led organization that provides hepatitis B patients with care, treatmen, and information about their disease. The group recently won an award for its work to help eliminate hepatitis.
When pandemic lockdowns took place in 2020, the volunteers became innovative and transformed how they delivered their services. With public and private transportation shut down, patients had no way to reach the Center and access necessary hepatitis health services. So, the Center volunteers straddled their motorbikes and became a delivery service, reaching 250 patients during the 42-day lockdown. Now that pandemic restrictions have eased, the volunteers continue to operate in this new style to ensure that their services are easily accessible.
The Task Force’s Coalition for Global Hepatitis Elimination (CGHE) supports the Center’s efforts with technical training and sharing lessons from other hepatitis programs around the world. On World Hepatitis Day in July, the Center won the grand prize for the CGHE’s Hepatitis “Elimination in Action” video contest. Watch the video above to see the Ugandan health volunteers in action on their motorbikes and learn more about how they reach elders and others in need of life-saving treatment.