In certain parts of the world, bicycles are used not for recreational activity or workout but to save lives. In the remote villages of Nepal, less fortunate people just can’t get medical care whenever they need it. People die and there is no way to rush them to the hospital, or a clinic at least, where the nearest one is 14 km away. They have no access to ambulances, so villagers had an idea of transforming some of their bicycles into ambulances.
The people’s ingenuity has saved a lot of lives. Now, to keep their ambulances in operation, people in the village make small contributions every week. This way everyone takes a share in the service their bicycle ambulances provide.
The bicycle ambulances were two-wheeled trailers made from moulded steel with regular rubber-tired wheels. The part where a patient is laid down can be padded with cushions to make him comfortable while a small part is allotted to a family member to tend to him during the travel. And a bicycle is required to pull the ambulance trailer which can be easily detached when the bike is needed for other purpose.
These bicycle ambulances are being improved based on necessity. For example, people have added a cover which gives protection during bad weather. The technology used is based on some local and specific adaptations to guarantee maximum efficiency, and durability. The overall cost of a single unit of a bicycle ambulance is about $240 — but to the ones whose lives were saved through this simple invention, it is priceless.
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