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Emmaus, PA (July 25, 2007) -- Bicycling magazine and Kona Bicycle Company have teamed up for the second annual BikeTown Africa. This year, BikeTown Africa selected two destinations: Katima, Namibia, and Tambacounda, 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 healthcare workers with the delivery of home health aids and services in Africa's rural and remote areas.
"BikeTown Africa makes it possible for healthcare 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 infected with HIV/AIDS, 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 Tambacounda, 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.