The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has turned over two ambulances, a jeep and 35 motorbikes, with an estimated worth of over US$200,000, to the Ministry of Health (MOH) to handle maternal mortality cases in three of Liberia’s 15 counties.
UNFPA Country Director, Dr. Oluremi Sogunro, who presented the vehicles to the MOH in Congo Town, said since the outbreak of Ebola in Liberia led to an increase in maternal mortality, it became necessary for UNFPA to empower healthcare-givers to transport themselves from one point to the other by using the vehicles and the motorbikes.
Mr. Sogunro told the gathering that the increase in the number of maternal mortality cases led UNFPA to make an appeal to the Japanese government to help save the lives of Liberians by providing the ambulances, jeep and motorbikes.
The vehicles and the motorbikes, he said, will be assigned to various health posts in Lofa, Gbarpolu and Grand Cape Mount counties.
He said the motorbikes will be used by the Ministry’s surveillance team in the counties to help reduce maternal mortality.
“The issue of maternal mortality needs to be addressed urgently. It is very difficult for our women in the rural areas, and with the support of the ambulances and motorbikes, we will help our midwives to reach patients, thereby reducing maternal mortality cases,” Mr. Sogunro said.
Upon receiving the items, the Minister of Health, Dr. Bernice Dahn, expressed appreciation to the UNFPA for their continued support in helping Liberia reduce its high rate of maternal mortality.
Minister Dahn said that through the support of the government and its partners, cases of maternal mortality decreased prior to the outbreak of the Ebola virus disease (EVD).
She said the Ministry is working on solutions that will strengthen and build up the capacity of health workers to take better care of pregnant mothers to reduce the high rate of infant mortality.
She assured UNFPA that her Ministry will carefully maintain the vehicles and motorbikes to help save the lives of pregnant women in the benefiting counties.