President Joyce Banda has procured 10 small ambulances worth more than K24 million to be distributed to some rural health centres in the country to promote safe maternal health.
The manufacturer, Japan Auto Limited delivered the ambulances at the Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe on Monday.
Japan Auto Limited is a new company assembling various makes of cars at relatively lower prices. The company is located at the industrial area at Kanengo in the capital city.
Speaking to journalists after inspecting the vehicles, Banda said she was very excited with the delivery and that it would go a long way in saving many lives of mothers.
“The background to this purchase is that I had received a lot of requests for ambulances from various areas I have been to across the country,” the President said.
“Most of our rural health centres do not have ambulances to take referral cases to main hospitals and this has resulted in deaths that could have been avoided.”
She said among the areas where the need for ambulance was high were, Nthalire in Chitipa, Katuli and Malindi in Mangochi, and another place in Mwanza district.
The Malawi leader said she was aware that the demand for ambulances was high across the country, but she urged the authorities in the areas to make requests.
Banda said she was first approached by the owner of the new company who brought two samples of ambulances for her to appreciate and that she had found them affordable and convenient and hence placed an order for the 10 vehicles which she referred to as “the first lot”.
The Japanese car manufacturing company, which is owned by one Kunio Tamari, has also donated one ambulance to the President in appreciation as the company’s social responsibility to the people of Malawi and the health sector.