Female pilots are delivering health care in Ghana. Using small planes, the women are transforming health care in Africa.
The women, mostly in their twenties, are being trained by Medicine on the Move – a project that uses small planes to deliver health education in remote communities.
PASSING ON KNOWLEDGE:
The project is happening in west Africa and we filmed it in action in Ghana. We met Patricia Nyekodzi – who is Ghana’s only civilian female pilot. And she is just 23-years-old. She can maintain and build planes and deliver health education and is now passing on all those skills to other women.
Patricia was trained at an airfield on the shores of Lake Volta in Ghana. After her training she visits outlying villages to pass on her knowledge.
But that is just the beginning. The traditional approach to humanitarian aviation has been to bring in a group of foreigners with foreign equipment and with foreign skills. Medicine o the Move says that that is very easy, but is not sustainable.
Instead they are training local people who are now being trained to maintain and fly the planes themselves – and they are evening learning how to build them.
WOMEN MAKE THE BEST PILOTS:
But another unique part of the project is that they are not training just anyone – they are mainly training women. They are argue that if a man is trained as a pilot engineer the pressure is on him to go to the city, or to travel outside, to earn a better wage.
In contrast, most women want to stay to support their local community.
Previously, most young women in west Africa had few job prospects.
Medicine on the Move is a relatively new project, but their aims are ambitious. Their aim is to spread health messages, like the importance of hygiene, to more and more people in Africa and beyond.