By Staff Reporter
ADDIS ABABA – (BORKENA) – The Ministry of Health announced that action will be taken against officials who utilize ambulances across the country for other purposes.
The ministry further disclosed that many ambulances were damaged during the recent bloody war that occurred in the northern part of the country.
Executive Director of Medical Services with the Ministry of Health, Ilibabur Buno (Dr.) told Ethio FM Radio that the number of ambulances in the country are not more than 4,000, of which 800 are out of service.
Ambulances are playing pivotal roles reaching out patients, expectant women including others exposed to natural disasters and calamities in remote areas across the country. Furthermore, they connect hospital to hospital, especially in war affected areas of Afar, Amara, Tigray and Oromia Regions.
Illibabur said that the institution he is leading is working to expand ambulance services.
The other concern is that there are officials who utilize ambulances other than their intended purposes, the director said, adding that this is a major challenge.
Ilibabur said that action will be taken against officials who will be caught utilizing the ambulances for other illicit purposes…
Various media outlets reported about ambulances that are utilized for purposes other than they are supposed to serve. Reuters once reported in its February 2, 2023 issue about “…the destruction of hospitals and looting of ambulances during the war…”. Reuters also said that “… [o]ut of 250 ambulances that …operated in Tigray before the conflict, only 82 remain and many of those are not active…”.
Doctors Without Borders also reported on March 15, 2021 that “… [I]n and around the city of Adigrat in eastern Tigray, for example, some 20 ambulances were taken from the hospital and nearby health centers. Later, MSF teams saw some of these vehicles being used by soldiers near the Eritrean border to transport goods…”.
African Business has also reported on June 22nd, 2023 that “…ambulances were looted…” at a hospital named “Guduru Primary Hospital’ in Oromia Region.
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