16 New bikes

16 new bikes were added on the 5 th of July 2023 and were distributed to all the 15 counties of Liberia to replace old bikes. Motorcycle’s Life span 3 years and/or 36,000km according to manufacturer’s recommendations and maintenance schedules in normal road conditions. However, Riders for Health-Liberia uses a well- designed planned-preventive maintenance modular system backed by effective training of the motorcycles users, enabling motorcycles to reach over 50,000km and/or 5yrs before replacement is required in Liberia’s harsh terrain conditions.
When not managed at all motorcycles used in harsh terrains struggle to get past 10,000km. There are 50 motorcycles currently utilised to transport specimen under the Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response (IDSR) basically specimen with outbreak potential.

Riders for Health Liberia facilitated a one-day conference on Integrated Specimen

Transport Riders for Health Liberia organized and facilitated a one-day stakeholder meeting on national integrated specimen transport on 28 August 2023. The objective of the meeting was to solicit stakeholders’ inputs and determine a suitable sustainability model for Liberia diagnostic integrated specimen transport network using the One Health Approach. The meeting was attended by Ministry of Health HQ representatives, MoH County representatives, Heads of MoH TB and HIV and NDD, National Public Health Institute, the National Reference Laboratory, Representatives from WHO, USCDC, MoA, UNFAO, USAID, LCM/Global Fund, IDDS, EFENET, AFL.

USA Ambassador for Liberia His Excellency Michael McCarthy interacts with Riders for Health Liberia in Bomi, Liberia. Apr. 3, 2023.

A quoted from the embassy website “The Ambassador and Director Wright were introduced to the Riders for Health specimen transport team, by Dr. Rachel Idowu, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Country Director in Liberia.  Riders has exclusive responsibility for collecting communicable disease specimens from health facilities in all 15 counties, then quickly and safely transporting health specimens to Margibi County for testing.  These riders, under extreme conditions, are at the front lines of rapidly detecting and controlling future outbreaks and are an incredible resource for Liberia and the international community.”

Riders Liberia participated in the Liberia 2nd Joint External Evaluation (JEE)

Riders for Health Liberia led by the Country Director Mr. Joseph G. Mehdeh was amongst the participants in the Liberia 2 nd Joint External Evaluation (JEE) at the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Ministerial Complex from the 4th -8th of September 2023. The purpose of the meeting was to examine and measure Liberia’s Health Security System from 2016 on how it was conforming to the International Health Regulation and Universal Health Coverage instruments using the World Health Organisation Joint External Evaluation Tools. Riders remains at the Center of Specimen Transportation system for disease detection & response in Liberia.
Riders for Health Liberia team led by Country Director Mr. Joseph G. Mehdeh explaining Specimen transport to Ambassador Michael MacCarthy in Bomi.

Riders for Health Liberia Featured in Publications and Articles

  • Riders for Health- Liberia was noted in 2018  as a “Success story” by the Global Health Securities Agenda (GHSA)…/motorcycles-help-speed-diagnosis.
  • RFHL ST System is highly acclaimed nationally by the (NPHIL), The CHTS, MoH and Local partners in Liberia including WHO as a robust, flexible, and reliable specimen transport system sustaining a network of health facilities-laboratory linkages.
  • Academics undertook a comparative economic study of the costs and cost-effectiveness of Uncrewed aircraft systems (UAS) versus motorcycles in Liberia, for transportation of laboratory samples.  The Lancet article concludes motorcycles are cheaper than drones for sample transport. Uncrewed aircraft systems versus motorcycles to deliver laboratory samples in west Africa: a comparative economic study (Feb 2020).
  • Beating Ebola Requires Stronger Collaboration, Action and Infrastructure- by Judith Monroe (Aug 2019);
  • Establishing Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) diagnostics using GeneXpert technology at a mobile laboratory in Liberia: Impact on outbreak response, case management and laboratory systems strengthening.January 5  2018.


Riders Impact

The Heath Care Access Problems In Africa Are Mostly Because Of Transport Failure And RFWI Has Solutions

Before Riders Specimen Transport Program In Liberia, Only 25% Of Samples Reached Laboratories Within 24 Hours Using A Collection Of Expensive Models Including Helicopters And A Chain Of Uncoordinated Vehicles. Now, An Average of 98% Reaches Laboratories Within 24hrs And The Remaining Reaching Their Designated Laboratories Within 48hrs And 72 Hours Of Collection Respectively.
Since Inception, There Has Been No Infection Due To The Specimen They Transport; Testimony Of Riders Liberia’s Stringent Infection Prevention Control Protocols Followed By The Couriers As They Pickup, Relay And Deliver The Specimens To The Laboratory.
From April 2015 to August 2023 a total of 215,336 samples were transported.

Dealing with wet seasons in rural africa

The rainy season in Liberia makes already challenging roads more difficult to travel, yet our skilled motorcycle couriers have been able to ride these bad roads in the name of health care. Maintaining vehicles so that they run regularly and reliably keeps our Sample Transport Programme running. It ensures a rapid turnaround of patient samples from health centre to laboratory and fast diagnosis and treatment of diseases.


Amid the ongoing battle against the COVID 19 pandemic in Liberia, Riders for Health Liberia has increased its specimen transport frequency by 50% noted by average increase in distance travelled from 60,000km/month to 90,000km/month

Riders liberia operations manager innagurated

Riders Liberia's Operations Manager, Marcus Kolleh (first from right) was inaugurated as the President of the Liberia Laboratory Association on the second of August 2021. This position is for a 3 year term. Congratulations Marcus!


The Riders Liberia Management supervision which covered Margibi, Bong and Lofa counties was completed in May. It was aimed in supporting couriers in the field and holding meeting with County Health Officials on the ongoing COVID 19 response.


As we cover the entire country, Liberia, we mainly use motorcycles to transport all types of human specimen to the National Reference Lab.