Benin, a French-speaking West African nation, is a birthplace of the vodun (or “voodoo”) religion and home to the former Dahomey Kingdom from circa 1600–1900. Some major cities in Benin include Cotonou, Port-novo, Parakaou, Djougou, Bohicon and Kandi. The major international airport in the country is the Cotonou Cadjehoun Airport which is primary entry point into the country by air with flights to Africa and Europe. Estimated population of people living in the country is about 11 million as at 2016.
Despite some economic progress, Benin continues to struggle under pressures of underdevelopment, poverty and disease. The health sector in particular faces several challenges in delivering the population with basic health services. The country’s health situation is dominated by endemic infectious and parasitic diseases, especially malaria. It is also prone to occasional outbreaks of cholera and meningitis. The border regions are particularly exposed to epidemics due to intense migratory movements. Benin’s health system cannot cope with this situation because it is plagued with numerous problems that include inequitable distribution of human resources to the detriment of the northern regions of the country, the low functionality of the district health system, especially the referral and counter-referral system, and low attendance in health facilities (34%).
The health situation of the people in Benin remains precarious, despite the efforts made by the Government and its partners, including the Bank. As is the case in neighboring countries (Togo, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Niger) the epidemiological profile of Benin is dominated by infectious and parasitic diseases. According to the 2002 statistical report of the Ministry of Health, malaria topped the list, cited as chief complaint by 37% of patients (856,059 consultations), followed by acute respiratory infections (377,075), gastro-intestinal ailments (182,206), injuries (137,263) and diarrhea (127 060). The observed HIV/AIDS prevalence in 2002 was 1.9% with high predominance in the 15 to 49 age group (85.3% of cases). Tuberculosis, the primary opportunistic infection that accompanies AIDS, is on the rise and remains a major public health problem.
MEDICAL EVACUATION SERVICES
The Flying Doctors Nigeria offers Air Ambulance/Medevac services across West and Central Africa. However, our aircraft’s are based in Nigeria. We classify an air ambulance evacuation as regional when the patient does not leave the West African/Central African region. Occasionally we use helicopters to undertake these types of transfers. However air ambulance jets or Emergency Transport Unit (ETU, a medical cabin on commercial aircraft) is used. We have French speaking staffs that have excellent local knowledge of the area which makes language not a barrier a problem at all.
Our response time immediately after an emergency call is between 60 to 90 minutes from activation time. We have our base at the International airport in Lagos and we are able to operate from Abuja International airport as well. This makes it a lot easier for us to respond quickly to emergency cases.
Visit our website www.flyingdoctorsnigeria.com for more information about our services or call our 24/7 emergency line 0700FLYINDRS.