Japan donates USD 3 million to the Maldives for enhancing sea ambulance service

Japan and Maldives sign Exchange of Notes for the provision of USD 3 million to the Maldives for enhancing sea ambulance service on October 4, 2021. (Sun Photo/Aiman)

The Government of Japan has made a generous donation of USD 3 million to the Maldives for the procurement of sea ambulances and training medical staff to provide the service.

The Exchange of Notes pertaining to the grant aid was signed at a special ceremony held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs today. State Minister for Foreign Affairs Ahmed Khaleel signed the Exchange of Notes on behalf of Maldives – and Ambassador of Japan to the Maldives Keiko Yanai signed on behalf of the Japanese Government.

This grant aid will be used for the procurement of sea ambulances equipped with necessary medical equipment and training medical staff for events of serious illnesses or medical conditions, and on emergency evacuations.

Speaking at the ceremony, State Minister Khaleel noted that the damn for sea ambulance services has increased significantly – especially in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this regard, he noted that the health sector was in a constant struggle to match its resources and capabilities to the demand.

Khaleel said that the donation by the Japanese Government during such a period of time will boost the capabilities of the sea ambulance service and will ensure reliable and uninterrupted service for emergency transfer or medical evacuation of patients during rough weather conditions.

Hence, he thanked the Japanese Government for the generous donation – characterizing it as yet another important gesture of Japan’s goodwill and extraordinary generosity to the Maldives.

Today’s ceremony was also attended by senior officials from Foreign Ministry, Health Ministry, Defense Ministry, and the Japanese Embassy.

Prior to this, Japan had donated 21 ambulances to the Maldives in 2019.

The Government of Maldives boosted the efforts to enhance ambulance services in the country following the death of a 10-year-old girl in June – who had passed away whilst waiting for the arrival of an ambulance.

Following the incident, the Government introduced a service especially for ambulance needs under the name ‘Emergency Medical Service’.