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WFP receives anti Ebola Ambulances

 

Ms. Becks Buckingham hands over the car keys to World Food Programme

Mr. Ronald Sibanda (Photo: Sheila Ponnie)

By Sheila Ponnie

As part of the ongoing Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) preparedness and response activities in the country, the United Nations Department for International Development (UKaid) handed over four ambulances to the United Nations World Food Programme yesterday in Juba at the WFP Fleet workshop.

The four ambulances worth USD 240,000 were donated by UKaid to South Sudan.

Addressing journalists, Ms.Becks Buckingham who is heading UKaid stressed the importance of preparedness towards fighting the threat of Ebola Virus.

“It is most important to remember the easiest thing in the world is not to provide the money, the most difficult thing in the world is to deliver on the ground to get the vehicles and move to Yei, to Yambio and to Nimule as well as treatment units in Juba,” Ms. Becks said.

She added that the UK operates for what is called no regrets polices when it comes to Ebola. She explained that it means having the tools, people and procedures in place to respond quickly and not be “caught on the back foot” in the event that these vehicles are ever needed in South Sudan.

 

One of the four 4×4 Toyota Land cruiser Hardtop Ambulances at

WFP Fleet Workshop (Photo: Sheila Ponnie)

Representative and Country Director of the World Food Programme Mr. Ronald Sibanda appreciated the government for making sure that the country is in the first place prepared for its emergencies and its response capacity is in place.

“From the experience we have had in other parts of the continent where we have had Ebola challenges if you are not prepared by the time you get your act together you probably have loss of life unnecessarily. So these are very good and quick response to that,” Sibanda said.

He added that challenges are real because of the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo where the Ebola Virus Disease outbreak is ongoing.

“People move back and forth although I understand that we may have forests which may hinder the smooth movement of people but nonetheless the borders are not well controlled and therefore transmission can easily happen anytime so we need to be preparing,” he urged.

Sibanda emphasized that the ambulances are to meet the standards for individuals who are identified for testing.

“The four ambulances have been modified to meet the values for the transfer of individuals who have been recognized for more testing in line with the protocols while ensuring the safety of both the patients and staff on board,” Sibanda said.

The ambulances will be donated to CORDAID,World Vision, Action Africa and International Medical Corps.

WFP through the Logistics cluster will facilitate the deployment of the ambulances to the respective field locations according to Mr.Sibanda.

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