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Mbarara Woman MP Urges Responsible Use of State Ambulances


Mbarara Woman MP Urges Responsible Use of State Ambulances
PHOTO — X/Mbarara District Local Government

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Margret Rwebyambu, the Woman Member of Parliament for Mbarara District, has called upon government ambulance operators in her constituency to adhere strictly to the Ministry of Health’s directive of using the vehicles solely for transporting patients, not for carrying dead bodies, luggage, or passengers.

Rwebyambu emphasized the importance of following this directive during a ceremony held on Thursday, March 6, where a new Class B Ambulance was handed over to Kashari North Constituency for placement at Rubindi Health Center III. The event was attended by various district officials, including the Chief Administrative Officer, David Muhwezi, the District Health Officer (DHO), area politicians, and other stakeholders.

The ambulance, equipped to provide intensive care services, was donated by the Ministry of Health as a result of lobbying efforts by Rwebyambu and Basil Bataringaya, the MP for Kashari North County.

Addressing the gathering, Rwebyambu stressed that the primary purpose of the ambulance donation was to address maternal health challenges, although it could be utilized for any referral cases requiring urgent medical attention.

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She reiterated the directive from the Ministry of Health, highlighting that ambulances are akin to mini-hospitals with ICU services and should not be utilized for transporting deceased individuals. Rwebyambu emphasized the critical importance of prioritizing saving lives over transporting dead bodies, expressing concern that the latter could potentially impede urgent medical interventions for the living.

Furthermore, Rwebyambu urged the public to respect and abide by the Ministry of Health’s directive regarding ambulance usage, emphasizing the need for cooperation in ensuring efficient emergency medical services.

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In addition to addressing ambulance usage, Rwebyambu criticized the tendency of political criticism and downplaying the achievements of leaders. She urged the public to acknowledge and appreciate efforts made by leaders in addressing community needs, emphasizing that constructive engagement and support are vital for effective governance.

According to a 2019 ambulance census conducted by the Ministry of Health, Uganda faced a significant shortage of ambulances, with only 178 government ambulances and 172 private ambulances available against the required 460 ambulances. This shortage was exacerbated by international health standards mandating the upgrade of existing ambulance fleets, resulting in a funding gap of UGX 88.2 billion to acquire the necessary ambulances.

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