Bayer cluster division head cycling for health

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Bayer Cluster Division Head for Pharmaceuticals SEWA, Colin Tyrer, participated in the grueling Cape Epic Mountain Race to raise funds for Unjani Clinic’s Nurse Programme.

The Absa Cape Epic, which took place last month, is the largest full-service and toughest mountain bike stage race in the world. It is the most televised bike race also known as the ‘Tour de France’ and the only eight-day race classed as hors catégorie by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), making it a highlight on any professional racer’s calendar. Furthermore, it’s an event that attracts aspiring amateur riders wanting to test themselves against the best[1].

Wild and open, sometimes inhospitable, and other times staggeringly beautiful, this route both tested and surprised all who tackled its ungroomed trails. From icy mornings to terrible rains and muddy routes – bicycles and cyclist spirits were pushed to the limit. Participants were indeed challenged – mentally, physically, and emotionally[2].

Tyrer took on this 658 km, eight-day mountain bike stage race to raise funds to support new nurses to be trained through Unjani Clinics network – a cause very close to his heart.

Unjani Clinics are a network of black women-owned and operated primary healthcare clinics that provide accessible, affordable and quality healthcare to communities in low-income areas.

Over 80% of South Africa’s population of 60 million rely on the public sector for their healthcare needs[3]. These numbers, along with limited health professional resources, ageing infrastructure, dated legislation and underutilisation of technology has resulted in the public healthcare system being overburdened.

Over the past eight years, the Unjani Clinic Network has been empowering professional nurses to provide access to quality, affordable primary healthcare, while at the same time equipping them to operate and ultimately own container clinics in low income and rural communities.

The funds raised will assist towards training two more nurses to become part of this service delivery model that is making a major difference in the way South Africans can access healthcare. The goal is to raise R100 000 and the Bayer stakeholders and employees are fully participating.

To date, over 120 nurses have been trained and empowered through the Unjani Clinic network which consists of 130 facilities nationwide, of which more than 15 have been sponsored by Bayer South Africa. Over 3 million consultations and 505 new jobs have been created, with an average cost of R 250 per appointment, including medication.

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