Flying Doctors Unveils West Africa’s First Isolation Pod

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Flying Doctors Nigeria monday unveiled the latest addition to its impressive catalogue of medical equipment: the isolation pod.

A statement issued to THISDAY, said the isolation pod, known in the medical field as the biological isolation transport unit, is a temporary shelter used to provide medical isolation for patients with infectious diseases,

The statement also noted that they are capsules primarily used to provide isolation when transporting patients by either air or land.

The statement further explained the isopod is designed to enable an efficient air transfer of patients with highly contagious diseases, like the COVID-19, while ensuring the absolute safety of both the medical and aviation crew.

Speaking at the unveiling cereomony, the Medical Director for Flying Doctors, Dr. Jibayo Oyedele, noted that the event is another example of the organisation’s innovative and forward-thinking mien.

According to him, “From the conceptualisation of the business over a decade ago, to our remarkable success over the years and now the availability of the Isolation pod – our focus has always been to ensure that exceptional healthcare services are available to people in their locations of choice. With this Isolation pod, we are now able to evacuate and transport COVID-19 patients to their preferred destination to access medical care without the risk of cross-infection to the medical and aviation crew.”

The statement further remarked that patients who have tested positive to infectious diseases such as the COVID-19 can only be transported where there is a barrier between the healthcare providers and such patients, “such transportation process will also require extensive use of personal protective equipment – PPE – from evacuation to arrival and admission.”

According to the statement: “There is also the emotional trauma caused by fear and loneliness as the evacuee is mostly always transported without any family or friends close by. This has also significantly hampered the evacuation of foreign nationals resident in Nigeria who are desirous of returning to their home countries, or some other locations, to get preferred medical care.

“An isolation pod significantly reduces the need of PPE as it would only be needed during the loading and unloading of the patients. During the flight, the built in-gloves in the isolation pod can be used by the flight doctor to attend to the patients as required. Because of the safety of the Pod, a patient can also be accompanied by designated friend or family without the fear of cross-infection. The presence of a familiar face will be reassuring and comforting – reducing and potential fear that the patient may have.”

The Sales and Business Development Manager for Flying Doctors Nigeria, Ajibola Bakare, affirmed that following the implementation of a standard suiting process specific to COVID-19 operations, and the rigorous training of their medical and aviation crew, medical evacuation with the isopod is now available to the public.

He added: “We are able to repatriate patients within Nigeria, to their home countries as well as to suitable third-country jurisdictions with the requisite and available healthcare capacity and capabilities for further treatment.”