By Goodluck Musinguzi
Ministry of Works and Transport has tested 3 highly specialized boat ambulances bought by Ministry of Health to strengthen emergency care services on water bodies in Uganda. They have been issued with water worthiness certificate that allows such boats to operate in the country.
The 3 boat ambulances will be deployed in districts of Amolatar , Buvuma and Kalangala. Dr Diana Atwine , the Permanent Secretary says they had prioritized boat ambulances in the budgets before Covid19.
“When the Country was locked down the communities staying around the water bodies found it difficult to access healthcare services. We budgeted for many boat ambulances, the first consignment reached in the country in February 2021”, said Dr Diana.
For security reasons the boats had to be properly marked, train the personnel who will use them. These boats will improve maternal health care in the hard to reach areas.
Emergency response on water bodies is going to improve so that incase of disasters people don’t die if all they need is emergency medical services.
Some districts in Uganda that are surrounded by water bodies include Kalangala, Buvuma, Jinja,Buikwe, Masaka, Hoima, Buliisa, Ntoroko, Mukono and Namayingo. Others are Kaberamaido, Kaliro, Kamuli, Rakai, Mpigi, Mayuge, Nebbi and Kasese.
The boat ambulances will boost other investments done by Uganda Police and Uganda People’s Defence Forces on water bodies. The forces have been using their boats which do not have the necessary equipment to offer emergency health services.
Emergency Preparedness and response on water bodies in Uganda has been boosted with boat ambulances. Health workers using these boats will have the best equipped intensive care unit in each boat that can be used to save patients.
Some people have been doubting that Uganda will ever buy boat ambulances. Dr Diana Atwine says the Uganda National Ambulance Services that was launched in 2015 has been boosted with many ambulances. The launch of these boat ambulances will be announced soon.