Red Cross Society Purchases Ambulances with 42.7m Br


Each ambulance was procured with 854,000 Br directly from Toyota Company in Japan




The Ethiopian Red Cross Society (ERCS) has procured 50 Toyota Land Cruiser Ambulance vehicles for five regional states at the cost of 42.7 million Br directly from the Toyota Company in Japan. The deal was conducted through the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

The vehicles were handed over to the regional states on July 14, 2017. The lion’s share, 28 ambulances, were given to Oromia Regional State Red Cross Branch, while 11 went to Amhara, six to Tigray, three to Southern Nations, Nationalities & People’s Region (SNNPR), and one to Harari. The remaining went to the Addis Ababa Red Cross Branch Office.

Red Cross branches of respective regions, Zones, and Weredas covered the costs incurred for the purchase of the ambulances, and each ambulance cost 854,000 Br.

The procurement was carried out in line with the national Red Cross Committee specification and with the ICRC agreement and approval, according to Nigusse Sisay, Ambulance & First Aid coordinator at the ERCS.

ICRC using its discount benefits procured and processed the shipment of the vehicles up to Djibouti port. The entire process took six months from which four months elapsed on the shipment and the remaining two months were passed for customs clearance processes. The vehicles are imported with a duty-free arrangement.

The ambulances are equipped with two oxygen cylinders, and a sliding and easily movable bed, according to Nigusse.

Currently, Addis Abeba has only eight functional ambulances. But this number increases with the ambulances that are owned by both private and government clinics and hospitals.

The new procurement will push the total number of ERCS ambulances in the country to 435, which all give 24-hour free service in 63 towns.

The vehicles have maintenance service manuals which require service for every 5,000km. When the distance which they cover reaches 300,000km, the vehicles will be out of service and put for sale, according to Nigusse.

The ambulance budget is allocated in consideration of purchase and operation costs which reaches from 300,000 Br to 500,000 Br.

The ERCS was established and became the 48th member of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in 1935.

ERCS has a structure consisting of 11 regional offices, 33 zonal branches, 88 district branches and more than 4,500 Kebele Red Cross committees at grassroots level.

ERCS began its humanitarian operations to help victims of the Italian war in 1935. But the modern ERCS ambulance and first aid services started in 1960, in Addis Abeba.

Currently, it has 215 ambulance stations, 435 ambulance vehicles and is able to deliver to more than 300,000 beneficiaries annually. ERCS is working to reach the standard of serving 30,000 with an ambulance from the current ratio of one to 60,000 people in a town.

In addition, a privately owned company called Tebita Ambulance Pre-Hospital Emergency Medical Service provides ambulances for emergencies in a paid agreement. Tebita was established in 2008 and has transported 30,000 people who were in an emergency.



By BERHANE HAILEMARIAM
FORTUNE STAFF WRITER

Published on Jul 16,2017 [ Vol 18 ,No 899]


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