Ambulance motorbikes

A motorbike ambulance in Mbale, Uganda

THREE motorbike ambulances are helping to save lives in the Mbale region of Uganda, thanks to the PONT (Partnerships Overseas Networking Trust) link.

The vehicles were handed over by three members of the Welsh Ambulance Service at a ceremony in Uganda last week.

This is the first time the poverty-stricken region has had an ambulance service.

Within two days of the launch, which was also attended by Wales’ chief medical officer Dr Tony Jewell, one of the bikes had already transferred 17 people to hospital or health clinics, potentially saving their lives. Julian Newton, a paramedic supervisor from Hawthorn ambulance station in Pontypridd, who has just returned from Mbale, said: “It’s absolutely certain these motorbike ambulances will save many lives and probably have already, in the first few days.

“Unlike in this country, where the lives we save are due to the use of medicines or a paramedic’s interventions, over there it’s often a simple case of getting people to a hospital or a health facility that saves lives. I feel very humble to be involved in something that will make such a big difference to people.”

The ambulances, which are suitable for use on Ugandan terrain, are the result of two years of work between Mbale and PONT. They have been funded by donations to PONT, including more than £4,000 from the Ashby-de-la-Zouch Rotary Club, in Leicestershire.

The three areas that make up the wider Mbale region – Mbale, Manafwe and Bududa – are each now covered by a motorbike ambulance. Mr Newton, who was accompanied by colleagues Mandy George and Giovanni Riva on last week’s Uganda trip, added: “The vision for the future is that the bikes will prove successful and, as the economic situation improves, the Ugandan government will recognise their value and roll them out to other parts of the country.”

Members of the Welsh Ambulance Service and PONT last year trained 60 people in Mbale as first responders as a forerunner to motorbike ambulances.

Read More: Wales Online

Looking to buy a Motorbike? Or want to review one? Go to Join our facebook community: Facebook/ukbike