Ambulances flagged off to three airports and two Referral hospitals

DSC_4612NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 7 – The Ministry of Health has this morning flagged off five ambulances that will serve three of the country’s entry and exit points as well as two National Referral Hospitals.

The Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, the Mombasa International Airport, the Kisumu International Airport, the Mathari Teaching & Referral Hospital as well as the National Spinal Injury Referral Hospital will get one ambulance each.

Speaking during the ceremony, Health Cabinet Secretary Dr. Cleophas Mailu urged the recipients to make good use of them in the provision of rehabilitative and emergency care.

“We are leasing these ambulances and if we don’t use them we will be paying for services that are not being utilized which will be a waste of resources,” he said.

He added that the ambulances would also enable the Ministry to meet part of its Health objectives while safeguarding Kenyan’s right to good health as enshrined in the Constitution.

“It is important that we begin equipping ourselves in handling emergency cases and to transport those who are unwell,” he urged.

The Health Principal Secretary Dr. Nicholas Muraguri, on his part, revealed that the Government would improve its capacity for disease prevention by setting up more health points at the borders.

The PS further noted that the arrangement would increase efficiency and reduce wastage because the ambulances are fitted with tracking devices.

The ambulances have been leased from Urysia Limited, which is the Peugeot franchise holder in Kenya.

“In the next one year we will have health points at all our border points whether or not they are gazetted. We at times have passengers falling sick at the Airport and we need to respond better to them. We also learnt our lessons from Ebola,” he explained.

Acting Director of Health Services Dr. Jackson Kioko further explained that the provision of the ambulances will enable medical staff to provide timely response for basic emergency services such as resuscitation.

National Spinal Injury Referral Hospital Medical Superintendent Dr. Soren Otieno explained that the hospital would use its ambulance to ferry patients back home after surgery.

Spinal injury patients are usually escorted home by a team of healthcare workers, who teach their family members how to take care of them and build facilities such as ramps if need be.

“The ambulance is nice and will mean a lot. For us, the biggest service will be in resettling patients and picking them up from smaller hospitals,” he said.

The ambulance will be customized so as to meet the standards required for treating patients with spinal injuries. This will be done once Urysia Limited receives this communication from the National Treasury.

According to the Company’s Marketing and Service Manager Maryanne Wambua, the lease programme begun in 2013. The ambulances will be leased for four years during which they will be serviced and maintained by the company.

Fueling will be covered by the National Treasury and each ambulance will have its own unique fueling card.

“The Peugeot 5 boxer has enough space to ensure that the medics are able to provide medical services comfortably. They will also be serviced wherever they are and they will not have to be brought to Nairobi,” she stated.

Since November 2015, 50 ambulances have been leased through this programme to different Departments. Out of these, the Prisons Department has received 30 ambulances, the National Police Service has 10, the National Transport and Safety Authority has 5 as does the Ministry of Health.