By Steve Dada
A non-governmental organisation (NGO), the Flying Doctors Nigeria has said that the rate of deaths arising from delay in getting victims of emergency situations to the health care institutions is worrisome and must be brought under control.
Such situations according to the organisation include: bomb blast, so rampant around the country, victims of burns, road accident, gunshot and similar indecencies, if given medical attention immediately after occurrence, could increase the survival rate.
The Managing Director of Flying Doctors, Dr. Ola Orekunrin said in Europe, America and other industrial countries, occurrences of such emergences may not necessarily lead to death, wondering why the case of Nigeria is different.
Olakunrin who was based in Britain also noted that there is dearth of medical personnel in Nigeria, saying for instance in Europe, there are 32 physicians to 10, 000 people, in USA, 24 to 10, 000, in Japan 22 to 10, 000, in South Korea, 20 to 10,000, in Brazil, 18 to 10, 000, but in Nigeria, it is four to 10, 000 people, saying the case of Nigeria is grossly inadequate.
According to her, the intension of Flying Doctors is to ensure that victims of emergency condition in the rural areas are able to access quality health care immediately after the onset of situation. ‘’To move them from an area where there is poor quality of health care to where there is good quality of care.’’
She said there are four designated areas in the country including Lagos, Abuja, Port-Harcourt and Uyo, where the company with over forty members of staff is effectively operating, in evacuating victims from the spot of incidence to reliable quality of health.
Right now however, Olakunrin explained that the company has challenges affecting its operations, saying for instance the company has the problem of funding, noting that all the expenses arising from its services are bore by family finances, urging corporate organisation, governments and philanthropic individuals to come to the aid of the company to stem the rising cases of deaths from emergency situations.
Also, the company needs the right doctors with relevant qualification, to take care of different conditions as they arise, while drugs and equipment are also another major challenge, as the drug market some time could be dominated by adulterated drugs. It also has the challenge of limited helicopter.