Brant-Brantford paramedics answer the call to assist hospital in Nigeria

Local paramedics have answered a call for assistance from Nigeria.

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Brant-Brantford Paramedic Services has donated a fully-equipped ambulance to the Institute of Sisters of Immaculate Heart of Mary Mother of Christ in Nkpor, Nigeria.

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The donation is in response to a request from Dr. Mary de Porres Ilo, an emergency physician at Brantford General Hospital. Ilo is a Catholic nun and missionary from Nigeria.

The ambulance will be used to support a newly-built hospital in Nkpor.

“When Dr. Ilo reached out letting us know of the circumstances surrounding the newly built hospital in Nkpor, we immediately knew that we wanted to be involved and provide support,” paramedics chief Russell King said in a statement. “We knew that the donation of an ambulance would improve healthcare infrastructure for this community and give access to timely and life-saving medical assistance.”

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King took the request to the paramedic services committee in November 2023. He was granted approval to donate a decommissioned 2015 ambulance to Nigerian hospital.

Ambulances are typically auctioned off after seven years of service. At that point, they are worth between $5,000 and $6,000.

The donation includes most of the equipment associated with an ambulance as well as stretchers and splints donated by several suppliers.

King said the paramedic service is honored to be able to work with llo and the institute.

“Having the ability to help people in another part of the world is such a rewarding experience,” King said.

The keys to the ambulance were handed over to Ilo at a Tuesday ceremony.

“We would like to express our gratitude for this generous donation from the Brant-Brantford Paramedic Services team,” Ilo said in the statement. “This contribution will surely make a significant difference in the lives of those in need and will play a crucial role in strengthening the ability of the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Mother of Christ to respond more effectively to various emergencies in the rural areas of Nigeria where they serve.”

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