The Nigerian Government has received 31 ambulances donated by the Japanese Government which were made available 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 recently, said that the donation was the outcome of the note-verbal agreement signed by the Federal Government represented by the National Planning Commission now the Ministry of Budget and National Planning and the Japanese Government represented by the Japanese Embassy 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.’’
Adewole said, 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.
According to Adewole: ‘’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’’.
The Minister 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 appreciating the Japanese Government for its benevolent gesture to the Government and people of Nigeria, and the Federal Ministry of Health in particular and indeed, the health sector in Nigeria, Adewole assured that the ambulances would be judiciously use for the purpose which they were meant.
The Japanese Ambassador to Nigeria,in Sadanoba Kusaoke in his remarks 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 added 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.