UNICEF Donates Ambulance Boats for Riverine Communities in Bayelsa

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United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has provided six ambulance boats to Bayelsa State Government, funded by the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI). These boats are to enhance healthcare and emergency response services in remote riverine communities.

The boats are equipped with medical facilities and staffed with trained healthcare personnel, ready to provide swift and effective emergency medical assistance. They are a lifeline for riverine communities living in far-flung areas, where access to healthcare is often limited.

Bayelsa State faces major healthcare challenges, with nearly 100 out of every 1000 children who do not reach their fifth birthday. Infant mortality also stands at 70 per 1000 births, and 32 percent of pregnant women do not receive antenatal care. In addition, only 40 percent of babies are delivered in health facilities. In light of these challenges, the ambulance boats arrive as a timely intervention to improve survival rates for women and children across the state.

UNICEF Nigeria Country Representative, Ms. Cristian Munduate, on the importance of the ambulance boats, said that they will ensure even the most remote communities have access to lifesaving healthcare services.

Bayelsa State Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, expressed gratitude to the UNICEF for the donation of the ambulance boats. He stated they will not just serve as transportation for patients, but also as platforms for delivering essential healthcare interventions directly to those in need.

The delivery of the ambulance boats is part of a broader Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in 2022 between the Bayelsa State Government, the Federal Ministry of Health, the Nigeria Governors Forum, GAVI, and UNICEF. This collaborative effort aims to improve routine immunization and primary healthcare systems, with a focus on reducing loss of life, especially among women and children.

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