Transport is vital for effective HIV/AIDS-related treatment work. It is necessary both to enable clients to access treatment and to move supplies and skilled help to where they are needed. Transport is also necessary to move supplies and people to the places where treatment is provided. And it is required for bringing drugs and other materials from sources of supply, whether from a local town or far away. One factor in deciding which suppliers to use will be whether they provide reliable transport for their goods.
The costs and difficulties of transport affect people's access to HIV/AIDS-related health care. For example, if people living with HIV/AIDS need trained medical help, they must go to a clinic, hospital or other place where it is provided. Alternatively, the help must come to them -for example, through a home visit. Either way, transport is required. Using transport takes time and it requires money to purchase, maintain and repair vehicles, and to provide fuel. Even walking, which seems cost-free, requires fuel in the form of food and water.
An NGO/CBO might decide that it is important to have its own transport. The budget, costs, availability of spare parts and maintenance of a vehicle will have to be considered. A method of managing the transport will have to be planned - for example, making timetables and keeping records of use and repairs. It will also be important to plan what will happen when a vehicle is worn out, damaged or needs to be replaced.
An NGO/CBO and its clients should aim to find the most cost- and time-effective transport to suit their needs and resources. Factors to consider when deciding whether to take treatment to a client, or bring the client to the treatment, may include:
• How far are the clients from the treatment services?
• Are there several clients in one area?
• Does the NGO/CBO have reliable transport?
• Is there good public transport for the clients to use?
• Is there a suitable building for a clinic where clients could come?
• If it is expensive to rent a building for a clinic, would it be better to spend the money on transport?