Gulu City authorities given one-month ultimatum to repair broken ambulances

He assured me that broken ambulances would be on the road within a period of two weeks.

By Christopher Nyeko

Gulu: The chairperson of the public service commission for Gulu City, Ojara Martin Mapenduzi, has directed the Gulu city council to repair all the broken ambulances for the city within a period of one month, or else they will hand over the city authorities to the anti-corruption unit to interrogate them.

Mapenduzi, who doubles as an area member of parliament for Bardege-Layibi division in Gulu city, says he was saddened and concerned after learning that out of the three ambulances Gulu city has, only one is functional while the other two are lying idle and parked at Gulu city parking lots.

The politician added that the two non-functional ambulances have only flat-tier challenges; the damages, he says, need meager resources to bring the idle ambulances on the road to serve the populace.

Mapenduzi was on Monday speaking from Techo Health Center III in Bardege-Layibi Division, Gulu City, while commissioning the brand new type B ambulance given to Bardege-Layib Division, Gulu, by the Ministry of Health under the Emergency Medical Service (EMS).

The donated ambulance registration number UG 8086M is being stationed at Techo Health Center III, and it will be used for emergency health responses and referral of patients in critical health challenges to the facility they can best handle.

However, Mr. Ahimbisibwe Innocent, the Gulu city clerk, says the Gulu city council has started the procurement process to repair their two ambulances, which have been down for the past six months, and it is estimated that repairing the ambulances will cost the city council approximately 4 million shillings.

He assured me that broken ambulances would be on the road within a period of two weeks.

On the other hand, he praised the government of Uganda for donating this ambulance to Gulu City, saying the city was hardly struggling to manage referrals and respond to health emergencies.

Christine Olok, the Gulu city deputy mayor, applauded Ojara Martin Mapenduzi for always pushing for the demands of his constituency and ensuring that they are always the first to benefit from government initiatives.

According to Lakot Grace, the acting in-charge of Layibi Techo, the facility serves a population of 45457, and on a monthly basis, the facility handles up to 1000 people.

He says it will help them refer people in critical conditions such as accidents, complicated delivery, severe malaria, pneumonia, Ebola, and corona to a facility where they can be handled.

On November 29, 2023, the prime minister of Uganda, Rt. Hon. Robinah Nabanja, flagged a total of 116 type B ambulances under the Ministry of Health national emergency medical service. The ambulance came along with a fuel card.

However, for the Acholi subregion, Bardege-Layibi division in Gulu city, Aswa county in Gulu district, Chua East constituency in Kitgum district, and Agago County in Agago district were the first to receive their ambulances, while other remaining constituencies will receive their ambulances in the next fiscal year.

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