Bicycling Magazine’s Second Annual Biketown Africa Aims to Improve Health Care in Africa One Bike at a Time

Magazine Delivers Bikes to Health Care Workers in Namibia and Senegal

Category:

Tuesday, July 24, 2007 10:00 am EDT

Dateline:

EMMAUS, Pa.

EMMAUS, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Bicycling magazine, published by Rodale Inc., and Kona Bicycling Company have teamed up for the second annual BikeTown Africa. This year, BikeTown Africa selected two destinations: Katima, Namibia and Dakar, Senegal, to distribute specially designed Kona bicycles to assist home healthcare workers in caring for patients with HIV/AIDS.

BikeTown Africa, the international expansion of Bicycling’s five-year-old BikeTown USA program, was created to help health care workers with the delivery of home health aids and services in Africa's rural and remote areas.

“BikeTown Africa makes it possible for health care workers to reach HIV/AIDS patients living in areas often inaccessible to other methods of transportation,” said Bicycling Editor-in-Chief Steve Madden. “These bikes are more than just a means of transportation; they are vehicles for saving lives. Bicycling is grateful to have the support of our sponsors and our readers as we continue to change and improve lives through the gift of a bike.”

An estimated 23 percent of Namibia’s population is HIV-positive, making it one of the countries in sub-Saharan Africa hardest hit by the disease. Madden, along with other BikeTown Africa delegation members, will officially present 150 bikes in a public ceremony on Friday, August 3, in Katima.

BikeTown Namibia is partnering with the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation's SECURE THE FUTURE® program, an unprecedented $150 million corporate commitment to fighting HIV and AIDS in Africa. SECURE THE FUTURE has established a number of HIV and AIDS community based treatment programs throughout sub-Saharan Africa, including Namibia.

While Senegal has been Africa’s success story in stabilizing the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the need for health aids has not waned. In September 2007 BikeTown Africa will make a second stop in Dakar, Senegal, to donate 175 bikes to healthcare workers.

BikeTown Senegal is supported by EngenderHealth, an international nonprofit organization, which has been working for 60 years to make reproductive health services safe, available, and sustainable for women and men worldwide, including in Senegal.

The bikes were custom-designed, constructed, and donated for BikeTown Africa by the Kona Bicycle Company. The bikes are specifically tailored to best suit local conditions while also requiring a minimum of maintenance. Spare parts and the training of local individuals on the repair and service of the bikes will ensure the bikes are fully utilized. To view Kona's AfricaBike, visit www.konabiketown.com.

For BikeTown Africa photos and blog updates, visit www.bicycling.com.

About Bicycling

As the world’s leading bicycling magazine, Rodale Inc.’s Bicycling is the voice of cycling, providing the stories on the personalities, trends, and techniques behind the sport. Appealing to readers of every ability and interest level, the magazine features expert reviews of the latest equipment as well as training and fitness tips. Published 11 times a year, Bicycling is the magazine for the athlete for whom the bicycle is the centerpiece of an active lifestyle. For more information, visit www.bicycling.com.

About the Kona Bicycle Company:

The Kona Bicycle Company designs, manufacturers and distributes more than 60 models of purpose-built, high-performance mountain, road and urban bicycles. Founded in 1988 and headquartered in Ferndale, Washington, USA, Kona bicycles are distributed worldwide in more than 60 countries through independent specialty bicycle dealers. Kona funds several professional road, mountain and cyclo-cross racing teams that include World Cup Champions, World Champions and National Champions. www.konaworld.com.

About Bristol-Myers Squibb

In 1999, Bristol-Myers Squibb and the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation developed SECURE THE FUTURE, a public-private collaboration to help alleviate the HIV/AIDS crisis among women and children in sub-Saharan Africa, the region most affected by the pandemic. The company has committed $150 million to the initiative which includes medical care and research, community outreach and education and new infrastructure. Programs funded include public education aimed at prevention, training for physicians and other public health workers, home-based care strategies, interventions to aid orphans and other vulnerable children, clinical research and medical care. Bristol-Myers Squibb is a global pharmaceutical and healthcare products company whose mission is to extend and enhance human life. Visit Bristol-Myers Squibb at http://www.bms.com.

About EngenderHealth

EngenderHealth works to improve the health and well-being of people in the poorest communities of the world. We do this by sharing our expertise in sexual and reproductive health and transforming the quality of health care. We promote gender equity, advocate for sound practices and policies, and inspire people to assert their rights to better, healthier lives. Working in partnership with local organizations, we adapt our work in response to local needs. With more than 60 years’ experience in the field of international sexual and reproductive health, EngenderHealth currently supports projects in more than 40 countries worldwide. For more information, please visit www.engenderhealth.org.

Contact:

Rodale Inc.
Josephine Parr, 212-808-1358
josephine.parr@rodale.com
or
Melody Serafino, 212-255-8455
melody@rosengrouppr.com

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