Rwanda Red Cross received two new ambulances from its counterpart, Qatar Red Crescent, to boost emergency healthcare services.
This happened on June 8, during a handover ceremony that was officiated by the Qatar ambassador to Rwanda, Misfer bin Faisal Mubarak Al-Ajab AL-Shahwani and Emmanuel Mazimpaka, the Red Cross Head of Communication, Fundraising and Humanitarian Diplomacy Department.
Amb. Al-Ajab AL-Shahwani, who delivered the ambulances on behalf of the organisation, said they continue to carry the flame of humanity across the world on the basis of solidarity.
“We are looking at the humanity value around the world, and Rwandan people deserve a lot.”
The handover ceremony took place at Qatar Embassy office in Kigali on June 8.
He added that Qatar and Rwanda have a high level of relationship, and it’s increasing in many ways such as economic, trade, and social affairs.
He said the two ambulances come as a boost to the initiative of the organisation, in addition to five ambulances, to support the Rwandan government in providing services related to ambulance needs in various places.
They are used in hospitals to facilitate transportation of patients from health centres to other hospitals; they are also used in refugee camps and in different events as well as in prevention areas.
“The service really helped during the Covid-19 pandemic when we had many cases of patients in their homes that needed to be taken to hospitals,” he noted.
The two ambulances come as a boost to the initiative of the organisation, in addition to five ambulances, to support the Rwandan government in providing services related to ambulance needs in various places.
Of the five ambulances; two are allocated for Nyamata hospital in Busegera District and Kibirizi hospital in Gisagara District, two others are deployed in Mahama and Nyabiheke refugee camps, and one at Rwanda Red Cross headquarters.
Mazimpaka disclosed that generally, an ambulance cost about Rwf 85M.
Red Cross, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, initiated a training centre in emergency medical services and 32 technicians have been trained, he said, hence the need to have more ambulances to be used by skilled technicians.
“Currently, the number of ambulances available is really not enough, considering the emergency needs.”
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Founded in 1962, Rwanda Red Cross, the auxiliary of the State as a humanitarian organisation with a mission to prevent and alleviate human suffering, has over 80,000 volunteers across the country.
Rwanda and Qatar enjoy strong partnerships cutting across different sectors of development in the recent past.
In December 2021, RwandAir, the national carrier, launched its direct flight to Doha, which operates three times a week, following a codeshare agreement signed between the two countries that place Rwanda’s national carrier code on 65 routes operated by the Doha-based Qatar Airways.
Prior to that, in December 2019, Qatar Airways acquired a 60 per cent stake in the Bugesera International Airport, which is under construction with the remaining shares left to the government.
The partnership between the two countries extends to business opportunities that people can benefit from both markets, through an agreement signed between Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) and Rwanda Finance Limited (RFL), in September last year.
The cooperation promotes skills development through training programmes, facilitates the creation of a community between the fintech ecosystems, and continuous improvement in the financial landscape, among others.
The Ambassador said they look forward to further areas of cooperation between both countries.