Mahali Hlasa is Riders for Health Lesotho’s Country Director and Chairperson of the Riders’ Global Management Council. Riders is a world-leading, award-winning social enterprise working in five countries in Africa. Mahali leads an 80+ person team and has successfully ensured Riders services have been adopted by the Government as well as established financing through the CDC and other major funders. Prior to joining Riders, Mahali worked as an Environmental Health Practitioner for the Ministry of Health in Lesotho. She has served as an external examiner at the National Health Training College and part-time lecturer at The Central University of Technology, Free State in South Africa.
She is a motorcycle rider and trainer who is passionate about the effective delivery of primary healthcare interventions in remote communities.
What should we know about Mahali beyond Riders for Health?
Mahali was trained to ride a motorcycle under Riders for Health’s first nationwide motorcycle fleet program in Lesotho in 1991 when she was working as a health worker for the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare. Her success as a rider saw her become Riders’ first female trainer.
“I am a woman who enjoys riding motorcycles and teaching others how to do the same. I am passionate about public health issues, primary care interventions, and working closely with the community. I am especially interested in contributing to the prevention and control of spread of preventable and communicable diseases, in primary health care. Following my training, I realized there was a huge opportunity to train other health workers as I gained the ability to travel across the country more quickly and easily. With this newfound independence, I felt empowered to spread my knowledge and help empower other health workers across the country.”
Why did you decide to become a Trustee with Peek Vision?
“Because I see parallels between what Peek Vision is doing and what Riders for Health are doing in terms of reaching out to isolated and underserved communities. Many people in Lesotho suffer from eye health issues and struggle to obtain the necessary care. Peek, from what I’ve seen, not only wants to reach out to those isolated communities, but they also want to understand how they can reach those who have been missed in the system and what factors may be contributing to this, which I believe most organizations do not do. Peek also delves deeply into how and why they missed those people accessing the services despite their best efforts, which piqued my interest. Interacting with Peek made me realize that we need to do more, go back into the community, and find these people who aren’t taking advantage of the services Riders for Health provides.”
About Riders for Health
Riders for Health (Riders) is an international NGO and not-for-profit social enterprise that manages vehicles used for health care delivery by partner organisations in sub-Saharan Africa. Riders is working to ensure that the last mile of healthcare delivery is the most important mile. They are developing, demonstrating, and disseminating solutions for achieving equitable health care, even for the most remote populations improving access to health care for 47 million people across Sub-Saharan Africa.