- Air ambulances can boost African health sector
There will be many advantages to regional integration of medical services in the West African sub-region, Flying Doctors Nigeria has said.
Speaking in Banjul, The Gambia, during this yearâ€™s West African College of Surgeons (WACS) conference and scientific meeting, Flying Doctors Nigeria Founder, Dr. Ola Brown, stated that regional integration will help the region to develop â€œmedical centres of excellence that can receive large volumes of specialist medical cases,â€ explaining that these centres will help medical personnel to â€œdevelop expertise in very specific areas of medicine.â€
The West African College of Surgeons (WACS) annual meeting is one of the most prestigious medical conferences in Africa. The conference was attended by surgeons from about 22 West African countries. This yearâ€™s WACS conference had â€˜Global Surgery Implementation for West Africaâ€™ as its theme.
Speaking further on international collaboration in the region, Brown stated that air ambulance services should be key part of the regionâ€™s medical sector cooperation.
She explained that air ambulance services are capable of enhancing the regionâ€™s medical collaboration by â€œfacilitating transportation of patients across large distances in very short time frames.â€
West Africa has some of the poorest health outcomes in the world in form of high maternal mortality rates, high child mortality rates and high mortality rates from trauma and infectious diseases like malaria.
The healthcare expert stated that air ambulance services can help patients save lives by â€œcircumventing the regionâ€™s infrastructural challenges, such as poorly maintained roads common in the region.â€
Flying Doctors Nigeria is West Africaâ€™s first and leading air ambulance service organisationbased in Nigeria. Established about 10 years ago, the firm airlifts patients across the world in medically equipped aircrafts for specialist medical attention.
Brown explained that air ambulance services make it easier for medical experts to refer patients that cannot be handled in their home countries to other countries in the sub-region where such ailments can effectively be treated.
She further explained that air ambulance services also serve a high percentage of professionals, especially those in oil and gas industry who work in high-risk environments, making it compelling to have air ambulance services for rescue operations in hard-to-reach areas.