Museveni offers boat ambulance to Madi Sub-region

By Jurugo Emmanuel Ogasto

Ministry of Health (MOH), Uganda has procured a boat ambulance to strengthen health service delivery in Madi sub-region which will definitely benefit also South Sudanese refugees in West Nile region, particularly those in Obongi, Adjumani and Moyo districts.

The boat ambulance with registration 001 was on Wednesday handed to the authorities of Obongi district local government where it’s stationed to serve districts like Moyo, Adjumani, Obongi and even beyond during emergency response for referrals.

While handing over the boat ambulance to the leaders of Obongi district local government, an official from the ministry of health said the ambulance is an intensive care unit (ICU) that cost UGX; 380 Million and the first that his Excellency president Museveni Yoweri Kaguta launched after they brought in Uganda.
“We only have three ICUs boat ambulances in Uganda, and Obongi happens to have one of them. The rest of the boats are not ICUs. Its number one of course we thought about Obongi while allocating. And it was even the first one when they were commissioned by his Excellency,” the official said.

Mr. Lomurecu Dominic, the acting Obongi district health officer (DHO) said the need for the district to have a referral system within started two years ago when the district wrote to ministry of health through the relevant offices within the sub region and outside.

He noted that Obongi district was chosen as the station for ambulance because of its location. “There are people in Syenyanya side and they get their health services in Obongi health centre IV.

There are community members in Ewanga Madi Okollo district they come to Aliba and Obongi health centre IV, there are scenarios where the road network is here disturbed and we make our referrals to Moyo, Adjumani, Yumbe and Arua. So, this boat ambulance is not going to serve Obongi alone, but will respond along the water,” Mr. Lomurecuh lamented.

He added “if there is need in Laropi, the boat should be able to respond and rescue the situation.”

The DHO thanked the government and the leadership of the districts in the sub-region saying through the help of ministry of health and marine team like Uganda people defence forces and police (UPDF), some staff have been trained and they will be attached to work in the ambulance.

The staff include assistant nursing midwifery in charge of maternal child health, assistant nursing officer nurse, a driver and a staff attached to theatre.

He also assured the refugees that the boat will never focus on the host community.

“This boat is for every patient regardless of your nationality, our brothers and sisters from South Sudan will definitely benefit from it,” he added.

Hajji Habib Buga Khemis, the chairperson Obongi district council, commented ministry of health for supporting Madi sub region with the boat ambulance.

The district chair applauded the members of parliament for following up the matter of ensuring the boat is delivered to the people of the sub region for efficient and effective service delivery.

Hajji also has attributed the presence of the boat in Obongi district to the overwhelming number of votes given to president Museveni during the 2021 general elections.

Meanwhile, Dr. George Bhoka Didi, the Member of Parliament Obongi constituency Applauded ministry of health for fulfilling the dream of the people and the district local governments for providing leaderships in delivering health services to the local population.

“We lost a lot of lives because of not (being) able to refer cases very timely especially children and women in labour and men who are in surgical and medical condition, many have died because of access to limited emergency medical services supported by an ambulance system.”

Dr. Bhoka said leaders believe the boat will strengthen referral and reduce maternal child mortality at the district since the gap has been bridged by the introduction of boat ambulance.

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