“Two of our newly donated ambulances have been impounded in Mogadishu sea port due to accumulated charges. We are asking everyone to help us pay the parking penalties of 6,454 dollars,” this was an appeal launched on Twitter by management of Aamin Ambulance.
The outfit is Somalia’s only free ambulance service operating especially in the capital Mogadishu. Its staff are among the first responders to terrorist attacks and they had often been quoted by news agencies on casualty figures.
This is not the first time that the service has appealed for funds. It has over the years hinted of a threat of closure due to lack of funding in the face of mounting challenges.
A case in point was in 2017 when citizens moved to raise funds in the wake of the deadly October terror attack that claimed the lives of hundreds. At the end of the process, they raised close to $33,000.
Subject: Donation Request— Aamin Ambulance (@AaminAmbulance) February 1, 2020
AAMIN AMBULANCE : Two of our newly donated ambulances have been impounded in Mogadishu sea port due to accumulated charges. We are asking everyone to help us pay the parking penalties of 6,454 dollars.
History of closure fears
In 2018, Abdulkadir Adan, founder of Aamin Ambulance reiterated the threat of closure of the service which is run largely on benevolence of donors. Funding comes from the Somali diaspora, business people and medical students.
“It is true that our free ambulance service may stop due to financial constraints. It is on this service that people rely directly or indirectly. When there is an attack we will come to the scene to save the wounded.”
A dentist by training, Abdulkadir, created this service over a decade ago to overcome the lack of free ambulances in the Somali capital Mogadishu. He then invested 4200 dollars, of his own money, to transform an old minibus into an ambulance.
Adan explains why they are in a hard place: “The number of beneficiaries of this service has increased significantly and therefore the costs too, we do not generate any income with this service.
“This operation cannot continue. The survival of this service depends on the help of the population, the government and donors.”Persons who have benefited from their service have also expressed worry about the prospect of closure, one such is Feisal Mohamed Rashid: “If Aamin closes, many Somalis will die.
“Amin Ambulances does so much more to save lives, and it’s a service available anywhere in the city, no matter where the incident takes place.”
Only wealthy Somalis can afford one of the many paid ambulance services in the city. But for the less fortunate, Aamin is the only option that fills the void and a hope for the sick and injured.
History of Aamin Ambulance
Aamin Ambulance is a 24 hour, free ambulance service in Mogadishu – the only one of its kind. Aamin Ambulance is the only semi-public ambulance service in Somalia. Aamin Ambulance was founded by professionals since then; the team has grown to 19 ambulances and 38 nurses, paramedics and drivers.
AMIN AMBULANCE is registered and is an independent entity under the supervision of the Board of Directors and has its own directors and management staff with an expanded role that included community prevention, response and recovery.
Aamin Ambulance responds to calls ranging from minor injuries, accidents, pregnancy related complication and illnesses to explosion.