Imbuto Foundation on Friday, November 22 donated 20 new ambulances to the country's health sector, during an event that was held at Rwanda Biomedical Centre’s medical procurement stores in the Special Economic Zone, Masoro in Gasabo District.
The ambulances were provided under the framework of ‘Baho Neza Integrated Health Campaign’, an innovative approach that, overall, focuses on Family Planning and Early Childhood Development (ECD) by addressing various health-related issues, including the availability and accessibility of family planning services, as well as identifying and closing identified gaps.
Imbuto Foundation is an initiative under the Office of First Lady Jeannette Kagame.
The ambulances cost over Rwf50 million each, and were given to the neediest hospitals that had old or few ambulances.
Among them are Muhima and Kibagabaga hospitals, in the City of Kigali, Nyagatare and Kibungo hospitals in Eastern Province, Murunda and Kibuye hospitals in Western Province, and Rutongo Hospital in Southern Province.
The Ministry of Health targets that at least one ambulance is available for every 40,000 citizens. However, almost half of the fleet is old and there is a gap of around 174 ambulances if these old ambulances are to be replaced.
Geraldine Umutesi, the Deputy Director-General of Imbuto Foundation says it is very important to have more ambulances.
“People who live far from the health centre or the hospital need ambulances because for a health worker to reach them it can be very challenging. Sometimes they reach when the condition has aggravated. Since we have pledged to reduce maternal deaths, this is very important and needed. And it goes in line with increasing health centres”, she said.
Dr Zuberi Muvunyi, the Director-General Clinical and Public Health Services in the health ministry told the hospital directors to take good care of the ambulances.
“Please take necessary measures to reduce incident reports of drivers who over speed, or drivers who don’t take enough rest and have accidents. These ambulances should be taken good care of, the maintenance should be made in time, the drivers should be trained,” he said.
The car keys were handed to the Director Generals of Hospitals.
The ambulances come as a contribution to the Health Sector Strategic Plan (HSSP) 4 target, which prioritises accessible, affordable, quality, and efficient delivery of healthcare as key pillars to enable Rwanda to achieve the Universal Health Coverage.
Baho Neza Campaign has so far trained 376 healthcare providers in post-abortion care; safe abortion and Family Planning services provision, 52 health posts have been completed, equipped and branded with social and behavior change communication (SBCC) messages on Maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH) & Family Planning, among others.