Rides For Lives
After losing his loved ones because of a lack of health care access and ambulances, the Ugandan inventor Christopher Ategeka decided to do something about it and started Rides for Lives; an initiative that provides quick access to health care in rural areas in Uganda.
The Rides for Lives Village Ambulance to save people in rural areas.
LOCAL HEALTHCARE FOR EVERYONE
Rides for Lives is the brainchild of young inventor, entrepreneur and engineer Christopher Ategeka. Ategeka was born in a small village in western Uganda. When he was just seven-years-old he witnessed the death of his parents. Now orphaned, he was forced to raise his five siblings alone. His brother also died in the arms of his extended family who tried to carry him to the nearest hospital but did not make it in time.
“I lost my parents because they couldn’t access healthcare and I lost a brother because he could not make it to the hospital fast enough” he said.
Determined to make a better life for himself, Chris connected with an organization called Y.E.S. Uganda. Through this he was able to receive support, opportunity, and an education. A sponsoring family from California took notice and gave Chris funding to attend a private school and invited him to live with them. Chris attended UC Berkeley, where he received his Bachelors and Masters in Mechanical Engineering. Through this he took his knowledge together with his experience and created Rides for Lives; a non-profit organization with a vision to create a world where every community is empowered to access local healthcare.
Ategeka makes sure health care necessities find their way to people in need with these drones.
LOCALLY SOURCED VEHICLES
Now Christopher is taking steps to ensure that no one in current-day Uganda has to undergo the agony he did because of the inaccessibility of healthcare facilities.
“The fact that I have the technical background and having grown up in a rural area I have the perfect combination of skills to create solutions to this big big problem that’s facing millions of people around the world” he said.
Ategeka is working with local residents and resources which are built to be adaptive to the environment. It also has cost-efficient emergency ambulances to bring healthcare access to people in isolated areas. To date, Rides for Lives have manufactured and distributed over 150 Village Ambulances. It has also provided employment by creating over 150 jobs. Ride for Lives has been able to create an incredible level of access to healthcare. A first of its kind for rural Uganda.
NEVER STOP IMPROVING
Ategeka continues to develop new ideas and technologies to revolutionize healthcare in underserved communities.
Access to healthcare continues to be a serious and widespread problem in developing countries in the sub-Saharan regions of Africa. In Uganda, where rural communities are poor, isolated and up to 10 kilometers away from any healthcare, there are limited ways to transport the sick and the injured.
According to Rides for Lives, their most pressing challenges were the overwhelming statistics. According to the World Health Organization, 99% of all maternal deaths occur in developing countries, and such deaths are higher in rural areas and poor communities.
Furthermore, 70% of children under five years old who die can be treated and survive with proper medical attention.Christopher is on a mission to ensure a sustainable future for humanity and the planet.
30 UNDER 30
Last year, Ategeka was one of Forbes 30 under 30 social entrepreneurs.
After Rides for Lives, he started two other start-ups to help people. He is the co-founder of Privail, which develops diagnostics for the early detection of infectuous diseases. The goal is to provide simple and affordable tests, so that patients all over the world can take earlier action in seeking medical treatment. Besides Privail, he also founded New Focus Africa, which helps African entrepreneurs build better products and, help them with the forging of connections, which ensures a higher chance at success.
Christopher Ategeka takes the lessons learned from the hardships early in life, and applies and uses them to help other people strive.