About 16 ambulances were distributed on Friday to district hospitals as part of the Ministry of Health's campaign to strengthen the referral system and improve access to emergency health services.
The ambulances worth Rwf 641 million were donated to the ministry by the Global Fund to boost Rwanda's efforts in reducing maternal and infant mortality rates and morbidity.
"Patients such as women in labour and others usually die due to unnecessary delays to get to health centres. The ambulances are a life saving tool," said Dr Agnes Binagwaho, the Minister of Health after handing over the ambulances.
She stated that the ministry will keep on mobilising money so that patients can easily access quick medical care.
Dr William Kanyankore, the Director of Gisenyi hospital said: "the ambulances are signs of the government's commitment to improve health care in the country."
Speaking on behalf of other district officials, Kanyankore pledged efficient management and good maintenance of the ambulances and other medical equipment.
According to Tharcisse Kabalisa , the Director of Kaduha hospital in Nyamagabe district, the new ambulances are a solution to old ones that were posing a serious challenge to the hospital.
"The ambulances were too old to provide quick medical services to patients who needed referral to other health facilities," he said.
However, Kabalisa noted that the number of ambulances at Kaduha hospital was too small to serve eight health centres within the district.