The new ambulances are meant to ease referrals into the country’s health facilities especially those in far-flung communities.
This latest batch of ambulances is part of the 80 fleet purchased by the government of The Gambia through the procurement unit of United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS).
A brief handing over ceremony was held at CFAO headquarters in Kanifing,
At the handing over ceremony, Lamin Dampha, permanent secretary 2 at the Ministry of Health, informed that the procurement was done by UNOPS with a hundred percent finance from the government of The Gambia.
The ambulances, he said, are purchased to ease the burden of referrals especially in hard to reach communities.
He extended gratitude to the UN agencies for their role in spearheading the procurement process to date.
Abdoulie Jammeh, project manager at UNOPS, on behalf of the UN agency, expressed delight to enter a partnership with the Ministry to support the procurement of the ambulances, which he said, would immensely help to bridge the gap between local communities and access to health services in hard to reach communities.
“This is the final phase of four handovers that we have done in the past. We have already handed over 55 ambulances in the past from May last year and today we are here witnessing the handing over of the final batch of the ambulances to the Ministry.
UNOPS project manager expressed delight to support the government of Gambia, adding that the government of The Gambia provided the finances for the ambulances.
He thanked the Ministry for trusting them with the project, while also applauding CFAO for the effort in processing the ambulances on arrival.
Receiving the keys of the ambulances, Dr Ahmad Lamin Samateh, minister for Health, explained that the ambulances were funded by the government of The Gambia, adding the move is a culmination of the efforts that have been put in place by numerous team players.
“But I think we start by giving you the vision of the Government of President Adama Barrow. Since coming into office, he (Barrow) has put quality health care delivery to the people of this country his topmost priority.”
Minister Samateh indicated that the President and his government recognise the importance of having a healthy population for national development.
“Without a healthy population, we cannot think of farming or any activity of development. So having a healthy population is critical. In fact investing in health is actually investing in the development of a country. Recognsing these facts and putting into cognizance the challenging health sector we inherited, the challenges in the health sector with dilapidated infrastructures, obsolete equipment, unavailability of supplies, the government sat down and re-strategised and the strategies are being implemented in four areas; one of the areas, we try to get health care to the door step of the people by construction of new health centres and posts, construction of emergency treatment centre in Farato among a host of others.”
The move, Minister Samateh added, is to improve on the services that are being delivered to the people across the country as well as the procurement of equipment.
He equally spoke about government’s resolve to ensure the availability of drugs and consumables and even lifesaving equipment in the country.
Other speakers included Mustapha Njie, sales manager at CFAO, who thanked UNOPS and the ministry of Health for the partnership.