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Mnangagwa to get more air ambulances from Russia

by Staff reporter
09 Jun 2024 at 04:06hrs | Views
President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced that the Government will establish an efficient air ambulance service staffed by highly skilled medical professionals, engineers, dispatchers, and pilots to reduce fatalities from road traffic accidents. Zimbabwe will also explore collaborations with Russia to leverage expertise in helicopter design and operations.

The announcement followed President Mnangagwa's visit to Russia, where he toured HeliDrive in St Petersburg, a provider of air medical services to 70 percent of the Russian population. This tour included visiting HeliDrive's factory and a hospital to understand how their air medical services operate.

Zimbabwe recently acquired 18 new helicopters from Moscow, used for emergency medical services, law enforcement, and the tourism sector. By the end of this year, the country expects to have received a total of 32 helicopters under a public-private partnership agreement. These helicopters are vital given the rising incidents of road traffic accidents and will boost the tourism sector by ensuring emergency healthcare for tourists in resort areas like Mana Pools and Victoria Falls.

President Mnangagwa emphasized the importance of this initiative for Zimbabwe. "This tour has been an eye-opener. The air medical services are critical for Zimbabwe. I give it my blessings," he said. He expressed the desire to establish a training center for pilots, engineers, medical doctors, and dispatchers in Zimbabwe.

HeliDrive's co-owner, Julia Yatsenko, mentioned that their products are ideal for Africa and noted the successful delivery of helicopters and other services to Zimbabwe. She highlighted that before the end of 2024, 32 helicopters would be delivered to Zimbabwe, enhancing its emergency medical care capabilities. Yatsenko also offered support in helicopter maintenance and personnel training.

President Mnangagwa left Russia for Harare after his visit.

Source - The Sunday Mail