YUMBE. The Yumbe district Covid-19 taskforce has faulted IRC, a leading partner in charge of health in Bidibidi refugee settlement, Yumbe district for donating an ambulance which they claim is too old and faulty.

This follows a breakdown of the ambulance on the way while transporting a patient to Mulago national referral hospital on Wednesday.

The ambulance had been donated to support the Covid-19 activities in the district dedicated specifically to manage referral cases of Covid-19 patients.

Addressing the members of the district taskforce during the weekly meeting on Thursday, Dr Alfred Yayi the District Health Officer said for the last 3weeks, they had been crying for where to get a dedicated ambulance for Covid-19 case management and surveillance in the district.

"We were happy to receive the ambulance from IRC however, the DTF team noted that the ambulance donated was too old and lacked the necessary equipment for critical patient referral. The ambulance in its first referral broke on the way at Maracha when it was taking a patient to Mulago national referral hospital, so we requested UNHCR and IRC to give a newer and more efficient ambulance which is well equipped", he said.

He said their plan was to dedicate the ambulance for transporting Covid-19 patients only because psychologically, it's not good to put a non Covid-19 patient in an ambulance which has been transporting a Covid-19 cases.

Ms Caroline Angolere, the RDC said there is a need for IRC to withdraw and do assessment on the ambulance.

"It is my request that you withdraw the ambulance and give us something which is mechanically sound. When you are providing support, give the efficient one for example, if you are to provide food support to me, you shouldn't give me beans with weevils", she said.

"Ambulances are meant for saving lives but assuming when it has very poor mechanical conditions and breaks on the way, how shall we rescue a patient in a critical condition when there is no other alternative? she asked. Withdraw this ambulance and we shall give you time to fix the technical problem", Angolere added.

Dr Charles Onek, a medical officer at IRC apologised on behalf of the organization for the technical fault that developed with the ambulance.

Onek however said, it's not true that the ambulance that was donated was a faulty one.

"The ambulance we donated is barely one year old on the ground and it was the first time it has gotten such a mechanical problem on the way. All our ambulances, even those old ones that were replaced, used not to break like that but technical faults with machines are expected at any time", he said.

"When the ambulance broke down, we didn't leave the situation like that but we acted immediately where we sent another ambulance to continue with the patient up to Mulago national referral hospital", Dr Onek added.


He said the ambulance had a problem with the brake system and they are going to work on it, thereafter it will be handed over back to the DTF to support the Covid-19 activities in the district.