The Guy Who Delivers HIV Medicine On His Bicycle

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

He was sitting in a clinic. Waiting. And waiting. And waiting for his grandparents’ HIV medicine.

Sizwe Nzima was a high school student in Cape Town, South Africa, when he would pick up the medicine for his HIV-positive grandparents, who had difficulty traveling to the clinic themselves. Because of the long lines, Nzima usually waited hours and often made multiple trips to the clinic before and after school. He tried to bribe the pharmacists to get the medication sooner. But it didn’t work.

So there he was, sitting on a hard wooden bench at the clinic one day about four years ago, when he had an idea: Why not start an HIV medicine delivery service?

He did some research and found that plenty of companies in Cape Town delivered medication to people’s homes. But none were operating in the city’s low-income townships, where unemployment levels are high and most people live in wooden or metal shacks. The companies told Nzima it wasn’t that they were discriminating against poor people. They just couldn’t find the houses.

Source: NPR (link opens in a new window)

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