Puma Energy Foundation: Roadsite Wellness Centres
Roadside blue box clinics
Roadside Blue Box clinics FreeText Editor
North Star Alliance, Tanzania
A long-standing partner of the Puma Energy Foundation, North Star Alliance’s mission is to bring down barriers to health services and provide accessible healthcare for mobile people and hard-to-reach communities. People on the move, such as truck drivers, not only are often out of reach of traditional health systems, but they could also play a pivotal role in the spread of diseases.
To address this complex issue, North Star Alliance has created an innovative system of roadside clinics, situated in hotspots where truck drivers frequently pass by. Services such as HIV counselling and testing, information on sexual health, primary healthcare for malaria and tuberculosis are offered to truck drivers and to the communities they interact with, such as sex-workers and populations living along the main transport routes. In addition, truck drivers receive information and training on safe driving practices.
After a series of successful collaborations that date back to 2013, the Puma EnergyFoundation has extended its support to North Star Alliance and its “Blue Box” clinics in Tanzania until 2022. Revamped blue containers turned into medical units, Blue Box clinics are present along the Dar Transport Corridor, a main transport route stretching from Lubumbashi in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the port of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania.
Besides the support offered to North Star Alliance for its health and safety activities, our partnership also has a second objective. We are helping North Star Alliance strengthen its institutional sustainability through the implementation of a revenue-generation pilot aiming at reducing its dependence on external donations and supporting the organisation’s transition to a social entrepreneurship’s model.
The 2020 launch of the pilot in Cato Ridge happened just as South Africa went into a lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the clinic was still able to work through its fee-for service scheme and helped North Star Alliance diversify its sources of income.
2021 Key Achievements
In 2021, North Star Alliance's clinics registered over 51,000 visits in Tanzania and over 1,100 in South Africa. The NGO also provided road safety education in Tanzania to over 11,400 truck drivers.