The Japanese government has offered a significant contribution of USD 3 million to the Maldives for the purchase of sea ambulances and the training of medical personnel to conduct the service.
A special ceremony was held today at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to sign the exchange of documents related to the grant funding. State Minister for Foreign Affairs Ahmed Khaleel signed on behalf of the Maldives, while Japanese Ambassador to the Maldives Keiko Yanai signed on behalf of the Japanese government.
This grant help will be used to purchase marine ambulances outfitted with required medical equipment, as well as to educate medical personnel in the case of major diseases or medical problems, and for emergency evacuations.
State Minister Khaleel stated at the event that the need for marine ambulance services has grown substantially, particularly considering the COVID-19 pandemic. He also noted that the health industry was always struggling to match its resources and capabilities to demand.
Khaleel thanked the Japanese government for the generous donation at such a difficult time, saying it would improve the capabilities of the marine ambulance service and provide dependable and uninterrupted service for emergency transfer or medical evacuation of patients in adverse weather conditions.
Following the tragic death of a 10-year-old girl in June while waiting for an ambulance, the Maldives government increased efforts to improve ambulance services in the country.
Japan has been supporting the Maldives in a variety of ways throughout the years, including the donation of 21 ambulances to the Maldives in 2019.