North Star Alliance provides quality healthcare to mobile workers and to communities they interact with.
The mission of North Star Alliance is to bring quality and sustainable health services to hard-to-reach populations, including the mobile truck driving community across Africa. The organisation has turned 10 years old, marking its maturity from an idea shared by a small group of people, to a multinational and recognised pioneer in the field.
We support North Star Alliance’s famous ‘Blue Box’ clinics: handy roadside wellness centres fashioned from old shipping containers. These clinics specifically treat the special health issues of the trucking community, are now extending their reach to local communities, too who have little or no access to medical services.
The clinics are found across sub-Saharan Africa and deliver vital public health programmes for people with increased health risks, such as truck drivers and sex workers. Health services on offer include screening for HIV, health checks and counselling as well as training for drivers to increase road safety. Other illnesses such as malaria, tuberculosis and sexually transmitted infections are also tackled.
In the last 10 years, North Star Alliance has grown from operating one Blue Box clinic to 38 Blue Box clinics across 10 countries in Africa. 11 of the Clinics are now accredited to initiate HIV patients onto antiretroviral therapy (ART).
In 2016, a big step forward was the official launch of six clinics along the Dar corridor in Tanzania. This was achieved with the commitment of the Trafigura Foundation and the Puma Energy Foundation, which also supports this cause.
In 2016 the 6 clinics in Tanzania registered 26,787 visits, of which 56% were made by truck drivers and the other visits were made by community members. The total number of services provided in 2016 was 33,458, with over half being primary healthcare, followed by almost a third HIV testing and counselling.
North Star Alliance’s Executive Director, Ylse Van Der Schoot says: “In addition to our comprehensive healthcare package, this model offers truck drivers essential road safety modules, paving the way to safer roadways. The support given by the Trafigura and Puma Energy Foundations results in more people having access to one of the most basic of human rights: health”.