Hospitals On Wheel: Uganda Starts Building Equipped Ambulance Fleet

According to Dr Diana Atwine, the new ambulancres will be placed at designated regional dispatch centers and not at health facilities as has been the practice
The Well Stocked Ambulances

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Government has handed over 10 Class B ambulances to Red Cross as part of its plan to rebuild the emergency services that have for long depended on police pick up trucks. 


Type B ambulances are used for universal coverage and have medicine and medical equipment to provide emergency medical care like oxygen tanks, stretchers, gloves, medicine, defibrillators and suction machines. 


The 10 ambulances handed over to Red Cross will help handle emergency and accident response along major high ways. The ambulances were bought with government funds.  They  will provide emergency services  on the highways of Kampala to Masaka then to Mbarara and  Kabale. They will also operate along Lira to Mbale, Kamapala to Gulu, Kamapala to Malaba while two   will be stationed  in the Kampala  Metropolitan.

The ambulances were handd over to Red cross by the Prime Minister, Dr Ruhakana Rugunda. The ambulances are Toyota Landcruisers that have cost  2 billion shillings.   

Dr Diana Atwine, the permanent secretary says the ambulances will enable quick evacuation of injured persons whose injuries will be attended to as soon as they crew reach the accident site . 

Unlike before when ambulances were attached to health facilities, Atwine says the new fleet of ambulances will be placed at regional dispatch centers instead of at hospitals like before. 

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Previously Uganda had only four Class B ambulances in the country. The procurement of the 10 brings the country’s total to 14. With another 10 ambulances expected, Atwine says the country is on the way to building a strong ambulance system. Each ambulance will have three highly trained staff, trained by Redcross.  

For years, Uganda has been planning to launch an emergency center. Dr Atwine says the procurement of the ambulance fleet is a step in the right direction. “We are planning to have a running call center in a few months located in Naguru," she said. "We want to make sure that all persons in need of emergency services have a number they can call and be assisted at all times.”

Dr John Baptist Wanyiaye, the commissioner in charge of emergency services says the procurement of the ambulances is part of government’s bigger plan to build a standardized emergency system.  

“There are so many accidents that take place in Uganda but often the emergency services used cause more damage than save live. This new fleet will go a long way to improving the way things have to be done,” he said.  

According to Dr Wanyiaye, government’s plan is to only procure type B or C ambulances. In type C ambulances- minor surgery can take place.  

Uganda has a total of 440 ambulances but majority are a type A- which have no equipment. They are transport vehicles.

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