The VMMC Awareness Ride - An initiative by Jhpiego in collaboration with Lesotho Sky
A 3-day bicycle journey through the remote mountains of Lesotho - with a cause
The aim of the cycle ride is to raise awareness and encourage Basotho males to go for voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) for HIV prevention.
The Ministry of Health in Lesotho, supported by Jhpiego, has identified VMMC as a priority intervention to reduce the spread of HIV and has rolled out VMMC services to all 10 districts. Jhpiego is now supporting outreaches to health centers throughout the country to bring services closer to the people.
Jhpiego is an international, non-profit health organization affiliated with The Johns Hopkins University. For 40 years and in over 155 countries, Jhpiego has worked to prevent the needless deaths of women and their families. Jhpiego works with health experts, governments and community leaders to provide high-quality health care for their people. Jhpiego develops strategies to help countries care for themselves by training competent health care workers, strengthening health systems and improving delivery of care. Click here to get to their website.
VMMC offers numerous benefits, including:
- Reduces the risk of HIV infection for men by up to 60%
- Reduces the risk of penile cancer
- Reduces the risk of getting STIs like syphilis and gonorrhea
- It is easier to keep a circumcised penis clean
- A woman with a circumcised partner has a lower chance of getting cervical cancer.
Where are the services provided?
All district hospitals.
The service is free - MAHALA
The cycling event is scheduled to take place April 17th – 19th, 2015 and will pass through key areas in the south of Lesotho drawing attention to VMMC. At all break points along the course, Jhpiego will organize speeches and group discussions with community mobilizers and health providers for the surrounding community.
There will also be fun health quizzes and games throughout the day at each tent where winners can receive small prizes such as stickers, pens, and other promotional materials.
The Lesotho Sky Mountain Bike Race is an annual event taking place in Lesotho. Since its inception in 2011 it has attracted a large following and last year saw 12 different nationalities at the event in September. In Lesotho, the race is known for the strong Basotho athletes, competing fiercely against riders from the rest of the world. Since our first race in 2011 we have invited Basotho teams to take part in the Lesotho Sky Race. Their participation is entirely sponsored by our team sponsors, all of them businesses originating and/or operating in Lesotho. In the 2014 edition we hosted 7 teams or 14 riders from Lesotho. In order to qualify for a fully sponsored entry, riders have to compete in a series of locally hosted cycling events. Click here to get to the Lesotho Sky website.
Lesotho Sky will invite a maximum of 10 riders to this join us on this awareness ride. Amongst them will be two development riders from Lesotho, whose participation is fully sponsored. The 3-day ride will follow the following course:
Day 1: Maseru - Semonkong: 120km (water stops / VMMC information points: Roma, Ramabanta)
Day 2: Semonkong - Quthing: 168km (water stops / VMMC information points: Seforong, Mphaki, Mt. Moorosi)
Day 3: Quthing - Maseru: 177km (water stops / VMMC information points: Mohale’s Hoek, Mafeteng)
For more information and if you are interested in sponsoring future VMMC Awareness Rides, please contact Stephanie Reinhardt at Stephanie.Reinhardt@jhpiego.org and Christian Schmidt at Christian@lesothosky.com