Bicycles: A Lifeline for Sight-Saving Care in Zambia’s Remote Wilderness


Bicycles: A Lifeline for Sight-Saving Care in Zambia’s Remote Wilderness

In the remote and rugged terrain of rural Zambia, where access to healthcare is often limited, bicycles have emerged as a crucial lifeline for sight-saving care. Bicycles+ was founded in 2014 by a team of dedicated optometrists and cyclists. The organization realized that the vast distances and rugged roads in Zambia made it nearly impossible for individuals in remote areas to reach traditional healthcare facilities. To address this challenge, Bicycles+ equips local health workers with customized bicycles that are specially designed to carry eye examination equipment. These “eye bikes” enable these healthcare workers to travel far and wide, providing essential eye care services to communities that would otherwise have none. The eye bikes are equipped with a full range of ophthalmic equipment, including vision charts, autorefractors, and portable slit lamps. This allows the healthcare workers to perform comprehensive eye examinations, diagnose common eye conditions, and prescribe eyeglasses. The impact of Bicycles+ has been profound. By bringing eye care services to remote areas, the organization has reached thousands of individuals who would have otherwise suffered from preventable blindness. In addition to vision screenings, Bicycles+ also provides training to local health workers, empowering them to provide ongoing eye care in their communities. One such health worker, Rachel Mutale, has witnessed firsthand the transformative power of the eye bikes. “Before Bicycles+, people in my village had to travel for days to reach the nearest eye clinic,” Rachel says. “Now, I can bring eye care services right to their doorstep. It’s incredible to see the smiles on people’s faces when they realize they can see clearly again.” The success of Bicycles+ has inspired similar programs in other parts of the world, demonstrating the potential of bicycles to overcome geographic barriers and deliver life-changing healthcare services to underserved populations. By empowering local health workers with eye bikes, Bicycles+ is not only restoring sight but also transforming lives and empowering communities in the remote wilderness of Zambia.Red Carnival of 1926: A Grand Fundraiser for Cliftonville FC

Red Carnival of 1926: A Grand Fundraiser for Cliftonville FC

On June 11, 1926, the fourth Red Carnival commenced at Solitude, a two-week fair featuring entertainment, nightly music, and refreshments. Organized by the club as a fundraising festival, this event showcased the remarkable contributions of countless individuals who dedicated their efforts to its success. A special 52-page booklet detailed the festivities, highlighting the various attractions and expressing gratitude for the support of volunteers, particularly female volunteers who played a crucial role in making the carnival a success. One of the highlights of the carnival was the evening when large crowds gathered to witness ‘The Blue Hussars’ march through the city streets to Solitude for a band competition with the Queen’s Island band. The competition for the Beecham Cup added an element of excitement, while another prize was awarded to the individual whose balloon traveled the farthest in the Aerial Derby. The Fancy Fair, along with its predecessors over the previous 32 years, raised substantial funds for the club. This money was then utilized to enclose the grounds with a durable wall and to construct terraces over the site. The carnival played a significant role in the ongoing development of Cliftonville FC’s home stadium.Bicycles are providing sight-saving care in remote areas of Zambia, where access to healthcare is limited. A program launched by the Zambian government and supported by the Fred Hollows Foundation has trained local people to provide eye care services, including screening, diagnosis, and treatment. The program has been particularly successful in reaching people who live in rural areas, where there are often no health facilities or doctors. The bicycles are equipped with all the necessary equipment to provide eye care services, including an autorefractor, which is used to measure the refractive error of the eye. This information is then used to prescribe corrective lenses. The bicycles also have a slit lamp, which is used to examine the eye for any abnormalities. The program has been very successful in improving access to eye care in Zambia. In the first year of the program, over 100,000 people were screened for eye problems, and over 50,000 people were prescribed corrective lenses. The program has also helped to raise awareness of eye health issues, and has encouraged people to seek treatment for eye problems. The bicycles are making a real difference to the lives of people in Zambia. They are providing sight-saving care to people who would otherwise not have access to it, and they are helping to improve the overall health of the population.


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