March 7, 2024

2024 International Women’s Day: WOFAN, Partners launch portable ambulance to promote inclusive access to Healthcare in rural farming FCT communities

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Women in Gwarimpa Village and environs in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) could not contain their joy today as they celebrated the 2024 International Women’s Day (IWD) with the launch of an innovative portable ambulance to promote inclusive access to healthcare in underserved communities by WOFAN-ICON2 Project and some of the organization’s partners.

The portable ambulance, known as Labulance is an ambulance on three wheels (tricycle) which also serves as a mobile laboratory and a clinic on wheels. The Lanbulance, which is an invention of Sonivsage, a youth led WOFAN affiliate, is expected to impact maternal mortality positively as it has facilities for supporting pregnant women during emergencies.

In addition to the Labulance, a Clinic-in-a-bag concept was also presented at the IWD to the women by Benson Cole and Associates, another WOFAN partner. The Clinic-in-a-bag is a small bag which contains equipment and tools for a portable clinic which can provide mobile or on the spot primary healthcare services to families.

Together, the Labulance and the Clinic-in-a-bag, are WOFAN-ICON2’s livelihood improvement intervention in Gwarimpa,aimed at improving the quality of lives of the women who are farmers and agricultural produce marketers by extendingprimary healthcare and emergency service delivery to them,their families and communities.

Speaking after seeing the demonstration of the Labulance and Clinic-in-a-bag, Zeenat Lamishi, one of the women who received care at the IWD event, expressed delight with the facilities available through the Lanbulance and Clinic-in-a-bag. 

Hajiya Garba said the government approved the agricultural policy which gave an opportunity to WOFAN being funded by MasterCard Foundation to follow up and address the challenges of agricultural extension services. Identifying agriculture as the backbone of economic growth in any nation, Hajiya Salamatu said if the policy is translated into a bill and later to an Act, areas needed to bridge food security in Nigeria will be identified and Nigeria will be able to meet the food needs of its citizens.

“This morning, I didn’t feel well but I had to come to the celebration of women’s day because, as a leader of the WOFAN-ICON2 groups, I had to see the venue and make sure everything was in place. Then, I met the staff of the Clinic-in-a-bag to complain. They took my blood, ran some tests on the spot and told me I had malaria. They gave me an injection and some drugs, and I felt well enough to join the celebration. I am very happy with the services provided from the bag”, Lamishi enthused.

“And when I saw how the Labulance worked, I became even happier. With bag and the Labulance, I am confident that no child will die from malaria and no woman will die during childbirth again in our community. This is the best women’s day for us, and we are very grateful to WOFAN, all their partners and the Mastercard Foundation for bringing so much improvement to our lives in Gwarimpa.”

Speaking earlier, the Country Program Director of the WOFAN-ICON2 Project and Founder of the Women Farmers Advancement Network (WOFAN), Hajia Salamatu Garba explained that the Clinic-in-a-bag and Labulance are part of the WOFAN-ICON2 Project’s community growth initiative which is aimed at not just touching the lives of project participants but also making an impact on the whole community.

She said, “This initiative is not just for ICON2 participants, it is available to all members of the community. So, everyone in the community will be part of this as they will all benefit and enjoy improved access to primary healthcare and emergency services.” 

Hajia Salamatu further explained that all participants will make a monthly contribution of N1,000.00 to make the portable primary healthcare extension services sustainable. With this fee, she explained, participants will have access to basic primary healthcare, including basic drugs.

“However, with N2,500.00 monthly contribution, a whole family can have access to the services. This ensures that families have access to primary healthcare, and it will insulate them from the current high cost of medical care in the country. And, as we all know, with good health, productivity will increase, income will be enhanced and livelihoods will be lifted”, she said.