President Barrow commissions 10 new ambulances
His Excellency, President of the Republic on Friday, January 18, 2019 commissioned a fleet of new ambulances – 10 of them community ambulances and 5 Nissan patrol SUVs through the private transport managers, Riders for Health.
The ambulances were described as “special New Year gifts” to communities they will be serving. Each community ambulance is specially designed to transport pregnant mothers with a nurse and midwife. They have been purchased by the Riders for Health (RFH) International, while the 5 new Nissan patrols are purchased under transport management contract between government and RFH.
He urged for proper handling and maintenance of the vehicles by the drives who will be assigned to them. “I will like to thank the RFH for their role in the health sector of The Gambia. I will assure of my government’s regular payment of its contribution to the agreement with you, as your services helped improve access to health by women and children throughout the country,” he said.
President Barrow said the day was “a pleasant coincidence” with the 30years’ anniversary of Riders for Health and his own second swearing in as President in The Gambia two years ago. He described health as a key priority area of his government’s development plan, adding that over the past two years, RFH provided 20 ambulances to the Gambia.
Mr. Momodou Lamin Jaiteh, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, representing the Minister said the ambulances will be deployed to carefully selected catchment areas in the country. “This is line with World Health Organisaion standards to have all maternal deliveries attended by skilled and trained health personnel,” he said.
Mr. Jaiteh said the Community Ambulance Initiative by Riders for Health will also provide cell phones to each driver, nurse, midwife and traditional birth attendants across remote villages. This package is expected to ease communication, transport difficulties and ensure safe and timely delivery for pregnant mothers.
Riders for Health International chairman, Mr. Mahadi Hlasa, lauded the partnership with Gambia government, describing it as example in Africa.
The deputy Minister of Health from the Kingdom of Lesotho, Manthabisen Fholeli, thanked Gambia government and RFH for proving an exemplary private-public-partnership which her country is currently studying in order to replicate.