Zimbabwe short of ambulances: vice president

HARARE, Oct. 26 (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwe has a shortage of functioning ambulances, and currently has a fleet of 134 ambulances out of 200 that are required in the country, Vice President Constantino Chiwenga said Monday.

Chiwenga, who also doubles up as Health and Child Care Minister, said the Ministry of Health was establishing an ambulance services directorate which would ensure that every part of the country has access to ambulances for emergency services.

He said the government was working to ensure the country has adequate functional ambulances throughout the country to ferry patients timely to medical facilities.

"My Ministry's vision for ambulance services is to ensure that when a life threatening situation arises, patients can reach a health facility within two hours," he said.

"This will require a ground fleet of at least 200 fully equipped ambulances and this will also require air ambulances in case the distance does not allow a road or surface ambulance," Chiwenga said at an occasion where he received a fleet of ambulances from fuel company Redan.

Apart from ambulances, the country's health sector also faces shortages of medical drugs and other essential equipment.

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