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Minister hands over boat ambulance

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By Joshua Malango, contributor:

Health Minister Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda has called on healthcare workers to use equipment meant for Malawians prudently, warning that anyone found misusing hospital equipment will be apprehended.

Kandodo Chiponda said this Wednesday when she presided over the handover ceremony of four ambulance boats procured through United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (Unicef) with funds from the Global Alliance on Immunisations and Vaccines (Gavi).

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The purpose of the boats is to strengthen service delivery, in terms of immunisation exercises, in the lakeshore districts of Likoma, Rumphi, Nkhata Bay and Mangochi.

The minister, who was accompanied by her deputy Chrissie Kalamula Kanyasho, hailed Gavi for supporting Malawi’s healthcare service delivery system.

“The handover of these boats today is a clear demonstration of true commitment by Gavi towards Malawi in preventing vaccine preventable illnesses and deaths among children,” Kandodo Chiponda said.

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She added that the boats would ease transportation challenges and ensure that vaccines and other vaccine supplies, including Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid vaccine, reach service users.

Using the same grant, 26 pick-up vehicles, 17 distribution trucks of various sizes, 89 motorbikes and two minibuses have been procured and distributed.

Unicef Chief of Health Services Tedla Damte said, apart from increasing immunisation coverage, the boats could also be used for the provision of other healthcare services.

“We believe that these boats will also motivate healthcare workers to work there. Moreover, we look forward to seeing significant improvement in the areas’ health indicators,” Damte said

Gavi is supporting Malawi with funds amounting to $49 million to strengthen health systems in the country. Part of the funds have been used for procuring the boats.

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