Our History

North Star is on a mission to guarantee that every truck driver and the communities they interact with have access to quality and reliable healthcare.


From a small group of dedicated people to a multi-country organisation and recognised pioneer in our field, we are proud of the journey we have made thus far. Since 2006, North Star Alliance (North Star) has been committed to bringing high-quality health services to mobile populations by building a network of public-private partnerships and investing in sustainable practices. North Star was the brainchild of the ground-breaking public/private partnership of the World Food Programme (WFP) and Dutch trucking company TNT Express. North Star came about when the founders learned that scores of truck drivers in Sub-Saharan Africa were dying from AIDS, leading to mass destitution and hunger along many trucking routes.

While TNT had committed to addressing the negative impact of AIDS-related diseases within the transport sector, research by WFP indicated that some transport companies had lost more than 50% of their drivers and that an entire generation of truck drivers was at risk. With zeal to provide the much-needed health services, we thought: if drivers can’t get to healthcare, healthcare needs to get to them. Over the past 15 years, North Star has done just that – delivered healthcare to this underserved population.

North Star acts as a team, an alliance of like-minded partners who deliver the needed services to mobile workers and the communities they interact with across a broad swath of the African continent. We adopted a primary healthcare approach to overcome the stigma attached to HIV clinics. We addressed the issues of mobile populations seeking continuity of care and developed an award-winning software linking our networks of clinics across countries. We never stopped.


A study in South Africa finds that 56% of long-distance truck drivers tested are infected with HIV.


WFP and TNT struggle to find truck drivers to deliver relief food to hungry communities during the 2003 famine in Africa.


North Star Alliance is born in Utrecht, the Netherlands.


North Star expands its healthcare services to community members.


Our 10th Blue Box clinic opens in sub-Saharan Africa.


Two regional offices are open in Nairobi, Kenya and Durban, South Africa.

COMETS, our clinical administration syste, is developed with the help of ORTEC.


Our 20th Blue Box clinic opens in a network spanning nine countries.


The Clinton Global Initiative recognises North Star as an “exemplary approach to addressing challenges in Global Health.”


North Star’s first laboratory opens at our Blue Box in Salgaa (Kenya).


Our 30th Blue Box clinic opens.


Mesedi.org, our GPS-enabled clinic localisation tool, launches Six new-model ‘inside/outside the fence’ Blue Box clinics open in Tanzania.


More than 1.7 million clinical and educational health sessions held to date.


We relocated leadership from the Netherlands to Africa. North Star adopted a three-director co-leadership model