KIGALI - The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), yesterday donated six ambulances, incubators and other medical equipment worth Rwf107million (187,805 US dollars) to the Ministry of Health.
According to the organisation’s Deputy Representative in Rwanda, Cheikh Fall, the contribution is in line with the government’s strategy of reducing maternal and infant mortality rates in the country.
“We believe that the ambulances will help pregnant women in various parts of the country to access medical care while the incubators will save the lives of many babies who are born premature, especially those with respiratory problems, thus lowering the mortality rate,” he added.
Citing other equipment like microscopes and stethoscopes that were donated by the same organisation two months back, Fall affirmed UNFPA’s commitment to continue working with the Health Ministry to ensure that more lives are saved.
The Minister of Health, Dr. Richard Sezibera thanked the partners for this initiative adding that the equipment will be very useful in achieving major strategies which aim at improving the nation’s health.
Sezibera said that the ambulances will be distributed at the hospitals of Bushenge, Rubavu, Rwamagana, Gisenyi, Gahini and Gihundwe.
The other beneficiary to the equipment is Bweyeye Health Centre. Incubators will also be sent to Muhima and Ngarama hospital.
“Bweyeye is the only health centre that has received an ambulance and this is because it is located in a remote place. These are not the only ambulances as we intend to have an ambulance service that will pioneer in Kigali, this month,” said Sezibera.
“The service will later spread to the whole country with time but starting with the urban centres and eventually rural areas. Government has also decided to buy a total of 90 ambulances and soon Rwandans will be able to call 912 and get the service. This will also help us achieve the millennium development goals,” he added.
According to a statement from UNFPA, the 2007 demographic health survey shows that the health situation of women and children in sub-Saharan Africa is alarming. Out of 100,000 mothers, 750 still die annually.
UNFPA is an international development agency that promotes the right of woman, man, and child to enjoy a life of health and equal opportunity.