ST John Ambulance is sending one of its old vehicles to help save lives in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The organisation donated the ambulance to Mission in Health Care and Development, an NGO working in six of the 11 provinces in the country.
It’s bound for Luvungi Hospital in the South Kivu province, and will become a mobile clinic to help locals in remote villages.
St John Ambulance fleet and radio communications manager Grant Ledger said it was fantastic when the organisation could help needy communities.
“We’ve done a number of donations over the years. It’s a great feeling that you’re actually being of benefit to someone else. You get a bit of a buzz out of it,” Mr Ledger said.
Mr Ledger met Dr Luc Mulimbalimba Masururu and his wife Delice recently at Perth Airport, while the doctor was en route to a conference in the eastern states.
“The ambulance will be of great importance in the transportation of sick people living in rural areas and will help in transferring difficult cases for our hospital to the main provincial hospital in Bukavu,” Dr Masururu said.
“We’ll also be able to transfer emergency cases very fast in the case of road accidents, thus saving lives.”
Mr Masururu said the villages house around 30,000 people each, but are 300 kilometres or more away from main centres on rough terrain.
Many live on less than $1 a day, and the ambulance will be able to provide immediate free consultations.
The ambulance will be shipped across to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and will also have a stretcher, spinal board, wheelchair and other medical equipment on board.
“These are products which are quite valuable and can be utilised, but within Australia they’re seen as old,” Mr Ledger said.
“It’s pointless throwing them in the bin when it can go to good use somewhere else.”
The St John Ambulance staff are looking forward to future updates and pictures once the ambulance reaches Africa.