The United Nations Children Funds UNICEF, last Friday, April 30, 2010 handed over 20 motorbike ambulances to the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare in efforts to help reduce some of the biggest challenges remote communities face especially accessing timely health services.
Several districts in about six counties including Grand Gedeh, Gbarpolu, Bomi, Grand Bassa, Maryland and Lofa are expected to benefit from state-of-the-art motorbike ambulances which are capable to reach more remote communities and transport sick people and pregnant women to health centers as compare to cars.
Ms. Isabel Crowley, UNICEF Representative to Liberia, officially handed over the motorbike ambulances to Dr. Brenice Dahn, Deputy Minister for Health, who proxy for Dr. Walter Gwenigale at the UNICEF warehouse, Sawmill Community on Busrod Island.
According to Ms. Crowley, the motorbike ambulances are intended to create access between villages and main clinics and hospitals in other for women and children to be able to get to facilities that is available for them.
“As you know it is very difficult on access and transportation between villages and main clinics and hospitals and we hope this will in some way help to enumerate that, and help women and children get to the facilities that are available for them,” she said.
The UNICEF Liberia boss pointed difficulties for transportation in the rural parts of Liberia had cause people to die while being taken to the hospitals.
She indicated the efficiency of the motorbike ambulances which could maneuver to reach inaccessible communities and its less economic constrains because of its low petroleum consumption.
Ms. Crowley averred that trainers would soon arrive in the country to train people how to ride the motorbikes and how to maintain them because it is a little different from the ordinary bikes in town.
She hoped that in a while women will have access to health centers in order to reduce maternal mortality which is still plaguing the many society especially rural communities.
For her part, Deputy Minister for health, Bernice Dahn, thanked their donor for the motorbike ambulances and promised to deploy them in the communities that they are most needed urging those communities to take proper care of them.
“I will like to thank UNICEF for these motorcycle ambulances. I can recall when we were doing the planning process ambulances and something within the communities that could bring to the clinic, especially in areas that are very difficult to reach,” Dr. Dahn said.
In further elaborations Dr. Dahn said her Ministry and its partners have been planning to reduce maternal motility and child death which has been a major challenge for the ministry.
“Maternal motility is one of our challenges in the country right now,” the deputy minister acknowledged, “ it is one of the highest in the world, and we have plans called the ‘reach every woman approach, that is to reach pregnant women to be able to help them to have a save delivery . So initiative is part of the reach every woman approach.”
Dr. Dahn professed that the bikes will be taken to the identify communities this May and by the 21st a ten days training will commence to provide riders with basic knowledge on how the bikes operate.