Jimma is to get its first dedicated ambulance and emergency service to serve the needs of its 200,000-strong population.
Ayu Ambulance and Pre-Hospital Emergency Medical Services (AA-PHEM) has been established as a part of ME-CIP program initiatives in the town. It will provide free ambulance service and pre-hospital care to the residents of the city in Ethiopia’s Oromia region.
As a regional ambulance service, its duties include attending primary emergencies, medical response and transportation, and transfer of critically ill patients. A separate function will be raising awareness among the community including providing first aid training for community-based first responders.
Ayu is a community-centered, facility-based ambulance service established at Jimma Medical Center in collaboration with the town’s regional health bureau, and Ministry of Health, in Jimma city. This ambulance service is a system in which all ambulances in Jimma and in the zone operate under one center.
The ambulance service is computer-assisted in which ambulances are provided by GPS. It is possible to identify the nearest ambulance and make the service accessible by calling 6238. A dispatch to help with this has been established by Jimma Medical Center. The ambulance service provides a full 24-hour service, which can be reached by calling the number.
According to Tolasa Takele, a dispatch head at Ayu, the emergency and intensive care program is one of the major issues connecting Jimma town with the university and has had a great impact on improving the health sector. The system aims to modernize the emergency medical and referral system and provide integrated services to address community health problems.
Today, it has the full capacity to overcome emergency burdens in the community. It has ambitious plans to be a premier prehospital medical service in Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa.
Jimma University, in collaboration with various stakeholders, is providing a wide range of community services and has provided a wide range of support. The FDRE Ministry of Health, Oromia Health Bureau, Jimma University, and Jimma Town are working collaboratively together for the implementation and success of the program.