The Ogun State Government has said that the rationale behind the introduction of tricycle ambulances in the State was to address the menace of maternal and infant mortality in rural areas.
It stated that lack of transportation has been identified as one of the major causes of avoidable loss of lives of pregnant women, necessitating the idea to complement the advanced life support ambulances.
This was contained in a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Kunle Somorin, the copy of which was made available to newsmen on Sunday in Abeokuta, the State capital.
According to the statement, the tricycle ambulances were formally launched in February 2022 following the procurement of 50 tricycles by the state government and the donation of an additional 30 by the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals ( SDGs) while 10 were donated by individuals, totaling 90.
Somorin said that the recent state effort was commended at the recent round table held in Abuja on the implementation of the Emergency Medical Services and Rural Ambulance System organized by the Federal Ministry of Health, where the Ogun State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Tomi Coker, was invited to share the gains of the tricycle ambulance initiative and best practices implemented so far in the Gateway State.
He added that the Senior Health Specialist, World Bank, Dr. Olumide Okunlola, specifically lauded the initiative of Prince Dapo Abiodun led government for a successful implementation of the tricycle rural ambulance initiative in the last 14 months across the 20 local government areas.
Recall that the present administration in Ogun State inherited a fleet of five basic life support ambulances from the previous administration which it has effectively increased to 26, spreading across the nine federal constituencies of the state in addition to the tricycle ambulances.
The present administration also introduced 24-hours ambulance and emergency services with over 16 ambulance points in strategic locations across the three Senatorial districts to cater for emergency situations during the day and night without leaving things to chance.
Somorin, further noted that by the provision of this community ambulance services, residents have been able to promptly reach out for emergency response, adding that with that arrangement, response time has so far been reduced from two hours to between 10 minutes and 30 minutes.
According to the Governor’s spokesperson, the government inaugurated an Emergency Medical Treatment Committee to ensure a collaborative response to trauma and medical emergencies within the shortest possible time frame.
“The committee consists of stakeholders drawn from various relevant government agencies and professional bodies including traffic, security agencies, health, media and emergency management.
“We have ensured that activation of a state-wide 3-digit 7-7-7 toll free emergency number, to notify the Emergency Medical Service (EMS) of any unforseen situation coupled with the integration of the national emergency number 112 in Ogun State.
” The government has integrated paramedics into the state’s emergency medical team to provide emergency care to victims at the scene of incident and on-route to the receiving facility/ hospital. We have incorporated the police, fire service, other paramilitary agencies, volunteer international organizations into the EMS accordingly.
“These efforts are geared towards improving the health system in Ogun State in fulfillment of the avowed electoral promise of Prince Dapo Abiodun, ” the statement stressed.