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Government Strengthens emergency health services

Government Strengthens emergency health services

Government Strengthens emergency health services

Story by Abigirl Tembo, Health Editor

IN a move aimed at strengthening the country’s health system and reducing inequalities around accessing emergency medical services, the government of Japan has handed over ambulances to the Ministry of Health and Childcare.

The new ambulances, availed by the government of Japan and UN Women, will be deployed to Guruve and Mbire districts of Mashonaland Central province.

They were handed over by the Japanese Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mr Satoshi Tanaka.

“These ambulances we are handing over today will have an even greater impact. They will allow members of the community who are critically sick or injured to receive emergency medical attention quickly. They will also allow expectant mothers to rush to the hospital and receive the necessary care. Often, the availability of an ambulance means the difference between life and death. I have heard there is a “golden hour”, meaning a vital time of one hour for critically injured people to receive emergency care, failing which mortality significantly increases,” he said.

He added, “These ambulances will help people get medical attention during the “golden hour”, thus saving lives. And, because these vehicles are four-wheel-drive, they can go to remote areas. This is all the more important since many communities in Guruve and Mbire are in areas only reachable by poor roads. As it is essential to keep these ambulances running smoothly, so that they can continue to help many people for many years to come, I would like to count on the Ministry of Health and Child Care to ensure that they are serviced and repaired regularly, and spare parts and consumables are made available whenever necessary, as soon as possible.”

The Minister of Health and Child Care, Dr Douglas Mombeshora stressed the importance of strengthening the country’s emergency medical services.

“The ambulances will aid in strengthening the referral system and reduce health inequalities around accessing emergency medical services for the people of Guruve and Mbire Districts, particularly women and girls. These ambulances will go a long way in strengthening the Ministry’s emergency care, Majority of the road traffic accident deaths and maternity are largely due to late medical response. An increase in the national ambulance fleet will lead to a reduction in these cases.

“The Ministry targets that each district has at least three reliable ambulances. We are working hard to achieve this target through concerted efforts by the Government and its partners. Let me assure you that, the Ministry has a concrete plan to ensure efficient and effective ambulance management services,” he said.

This year alone, the government has procured 40 ambulances with more expected to be delivered to achieve the country’s vision of having at least 200 surface ambulances countrywide.