Saskatoon StarPhoenix

Donated ambulance arrives in Africa

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After years of saving lives on the streets of Saskatoon, a 2001 ambulance donated by MD Ambulance is now bringing help to people struggling with HIV and AIDS in Africa.

The company’s chief operating officer, Gerry Schriemer, drove the ambulance about 5,000 kilometres from Saskatoon to Ottawa before it was loaded onto a ship for transport.

The Christian Children’s Fund raised $23,000 to cover gas and shipping costs for the donation.

The emergency vehicle will be used by the Hiwot HIV-AIDS Prevention, Care and Support Organizati­on, which sends nurses and social workers to make house calls for patients.

Africa lacks a 911 system, which often forces people to rely on word of mouth when they need medical help.

“In the past, these patients were transporte­d on bicycles, on backs of cars, on donkey carts, basically any way they could get them to the hospital,” Schriemer said.

“I’m thrilled to hear the ambulance has arrived safely and had such a positive response by the people of Africa.”

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