By Landing Ceesay
President Adama Barrow commissioned 25 community ambulances, a month after he commissioned the first batch numbering 20.
The fleet is meant for allocation to local communities for their transportation needs to health facilities when the need arises.
Speaking at the commissioning of the vehicles, President Barrow opined that the ambulances would go a long way in helping the people in the communities.
“If you are elected as President that means you already signed a social contract with the general populace. The contract is to impact the lives of the people, to change the lives of the people in a very positive way. I think these ambulances will go a long way in helping the people in the communities. The communities, we want them to be closed to the health facilities or help them to get access to the health facilities. I think this is very important. It is an innovative idea and I don’t think you can find it anywhere, maybe in Africa,” President Barrow said.
Meanwhile, Dr Ahmad Lamin Samateh, Minister of Health said the ambulances are meant to help the communities.
“We are very happy to commission 25 ambulances. This is the second batch of community ambulances that we have been expecting. As you are aware, President Barrow has brought in 80 ambulances that are procured for the communities of this country. These ambulances are coming in batches, we have received 20 before. Today, we are receiving 25 and the remaining 35 are on their way. You are all aware of the challenges our pregnant women go through, our sick children go through especially, when they are in the provinces. So nobody should fool anybody that these ambulances are not useful,” Dr Samateh expressed.
Similarly, the Gambian President also handed over two buses to the State Enrolled Nurses (SEN) School in Bansang, and a bus with a Toyota pickup to the School for Enrolled Community Health Nurses and Midwives (SECHNM) in Mansakonko.
The commissioning of the second batch of the ambulances came a month after President Barrow handed over to the Minister of Health on 13th September, the first batch of 20 ambulances.
Both batches comprising 45 ambulances are part of the 80 ambulances procured by the United Nations Office for Project Service [UNOPS], but funded by the Gambia Government.
The ceremony took place at McCarthy Square in Banjul on Thursday.