In a significant move towards enhancing emergency health services, the leader of Uganda’s government business, Rt. Hon. Robinah Nabanjja, launched the distribution of 116 ambulances procured by the Ministry of Health. The event, held at the National Records Center and Archives in Kampala, marked a pivotal moment in bolstering emergency response capabilities across regions and constituencies.
The prime minister underscored the government’s commitment to establishing an Emergency National Ambulance service, aligning with the National Resistance Movement (NRM)’s 2021/26 manifesto. The initiative reflects the government’s dedication to transforming the health sector in Uganda, addressing critical gaps in emergency services.
Nabanjja revealed that each of the 121 districts will receive a type “B” ambulance, a strategic move towards achieving full coverage across districts and constituencies. She called upon Resident District Commissioners (RDCs) and Chief Administrative Officers (CAOs) to ensure the efficient management and utilization of the ambulances, emphasizing the importance of oversight.
Minister of Health, Ruth Acieng, provided insights into the criteria used for ambulance distribution. Districts without any type “B” ambulance, hard-to-reach districts, disaster-prone districts affected by floods and landslides, refugee hosting districts, and regions with veterans suffering from various illnesses were given priority.
Acieng highlighted a policy shift in the Ministry, transitioning from health facility ambulances to community ambulances that cover defined areas and constituencies. This shift aims to ensure the availability of community emergency transfers, inter-facility and intra-facility referrals, marking a strategic approach to emergency healthcare.
Members of Parliament were urged to support the health ministry in strengthening the National Ambulance services at the community level. The allocated ambulances are strategically based at Health IVs to facilitate the efficient transportation of patients, ensuring timely and life-saving interventions.
Several Busoga constituencies, including Jinja city, Kagoma North, Budiope East, Bukooli Central, Bukono, and Bulamogi county, are among the beneficiaries of this initiative, reflecting the government’s commitment to decentralized emergency healthcare services. The launch represents a significant milestone in the ongoing efforts to enhance Uganda’s healthcare infrastructure and response capabilities.