On February 25, the newspaper ran a front-page story featuring WAHA’s deployment of 26-motorcycle ambulances and the ceremony accompanying their arrival. Attended by Niger’s president Mahamadou Issoufou, the UAE Ambassador to Niger, and WAHA’s General Secretary Dr. Sinan Khaddaj, the ceremony brought widespread attention and support. A second article was run on February 26.
The national newspaper declared the motorbike deployment a boost in maternal and neonatal healthcare in Niger, and noted that it strongly supports the Nigerien government’s own efforts to increase access to healthcare in rural regions. The strong partnership between WAHA and the Ministry of Health was recognized, along with WAHA’s role in helping Niger achieve the Millennium Development Goals.
The ambulances will provide a low cost transportation system that will help women reach skilled medical support during childbirth. Ambulance drivers will be equipped with mobile phones to ensure a reliable means of communication, thus maximizing the chances of women receiving emergency obstetric care. The newspaper noted that the WAHA-designed motorbike ambulances have proved highly efficient in helping other African countries tackle maternal and child mortality, including in Senegal and Ethiopia.
Local authorities praised the deployment as a means to strengthen the operational capacity of health facilities in Niger. “This is only the beginning,” Dr. Sinan Khaddaj was quoted.