The Federal Government of Nigeria has received 31 ambulances donated by the Japanese Government to the Federal Ministry of Health to help strengthen the healthcare delivery system in the country.
The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole who received the ambulances on behalf of the Federal Government at a handing over ceremony in Abuja said that the donation was the outcome of the note-verbal agreement signed by the Federal Government,and the Japanese Government on the 30th September, 2014.
The Minister said: ‘’though the process started over 4 years ago, I am glad that it is being concluded in my time. I am aware that the 31 ambulances that are being handed over today is the first phase, and that another 12 ambulances will be handed to us by 2018, as the second phase.’’
He said that it was pertinent to note that the donated ambulances had been programmed to be distributed to selected beneficiary Tertiary Health Institutions in the country.
He expressed delight that this intervention by the Japanese government has provided the opportunity to strengthen greater collaboration and partnership between the two countries.
‘’With this kind gesture, our bilateral tie is further deepened, this gesture will contribute immensely in supporting the Federal Government’s efforts in strengthening the National Emergency Response Programme(NERP) of the Federal Ministry of Health. The provision of these ambulances to our tertiary Health Institutions across the states will ensure that emergency cases requiring ambulances will be promptly delivered’’. He noted.
“As a matter of concern, next to Boko Haram Insurgency, road crash is the second highest source of violent death in Nigeria.
“According to FRSC reports, Nigeria is among the countries with the highest road accident rates in the world, having 5,400 deaths in 12,077 road crashes in 2015 and 18,353 people injured in road crashes between 2009 and 2013.
“According to WHO report in 2015, one in every four road crash deaths in Africa occur in Nigeria, having a higher death toll than malaria.“Also, Nigeria loses about N80bn annually to road accidents,” he said.
Adewole explained that the Japanese Government would be providing not only the ambulances but also the training on the effective management of the ambulances, adding that the knowledge gained from the exercise would enhance the performance of the trained nurses and drivers for effective emergency service delivery.
While commending the Japanese Government for its benevolent gesture to the Federal Ministry of Health and indeed, the health sector in Nigeria, he assured that the ambulances would be judiciously use for the purpose which they were meant.
In his remarks, the Japanese Ambassador to Nigeria, Sadanoba Kusaoke said that improving the quality of the health care delivery system in Nigeria is one of Japan’s priority targets, adding that the ambulances would be eventually distributed to all the 36 states and the Federal Capital.
He said that the 31 ambulances donated in the first batch cost 400 Million Japanese Yen an equivalent of USD 4.1 Million.
He said that apart from this intervention, the Japanese Government had also supplied advanced medical equipment for secondary health care centres and scholarship programme for Nigerian undergraduate medical student being trained in Japan.