The government through the Ministry of Health has unveiled an Advanced Life Support boat Ambulance to provide emergency response health services for populations on island communities.
Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary Dr. Diana Atwine says the boat ambulance will be supported by two dedicated similarly advanced road ambulances to transport patients to onland hospitals.
The three are part of the over 40 ambulances that the government purchased using the COVID-19 response funds donated by individuals and Organizations during the lockdown.
Island districts such as Buvuma and Kalangala had the highest number of maternal deaths largely due to poor transport.
According to Grace Nakaggwa, a resident at Bukasa, one of the many islands that make up Kalangala district, most expectant mothers had to relocate to either Kalangala, Masaka or Entebbe reduce the risk of being emergency cases.
“The ambulances have inbuilt critical hospital equipment like ventilators and resuscitators etc that can provide ICU support until patient gets to the hospital,” said Atwine.
Solving the lack of fuel problem
And in response to the recurrent problem of lack of fuel that is cited by hospitals as an obstacle for transporting patients for referral purposes, Dr. Atwine says the government has devised a solution.
She says: “We are setting up a central & regional Emergency Medical Services centers with their call centers. These will manage call and dispatch, fueling and maintenance of the ambulances.”