EMS week is for the most part only recognized in America. But for me it’s always a time to reflect on the wonderful, difficult and admirable work that EMS crews do all over the world.
Emergency Medical Services/Air Ambulance in Africa
Today, I would like to particularly reflect on the work I have seen in Africa. Our own EMS air ambulance crews at the Flying Doctors Nigeria Air Ambulance service have worked in over 10 African countries , for nearly a decade, tirelessly through thousands of air ambulance operations, with the aim of getting the correct medical patient, to the correct medical facility within the correct timeframe.
Working in many parts of Africa is different. We often have to work with fewer resources than our counterparts in the developed world. We generally cover further distances, many times face security risks and have to work around infrastructure deficits like lack of electricity/water/internet but still we rise.
From Johannesburg to Cairo, to Kigali, to Luanda, to Accra, to Dakar, to Lome, to Nairobi, to Casablanca, to Banjul to Libreville. We rise.
This is an open letter and an open thank you to African’s in emergency medical services/air ambulance services across the continent. I salute you.
Economic Growth in Africa and how it affects air ambulance/emergency medical services
The fundamentals for growth on our continent remain strong. The International Monetary Fund projects that Africa will be the world’s second-fastest-growing region in the period to 2020. Despite recent shocks and challenges, spending by Africa’s consumers and businesses already totals $4 trillion annually, and is growing rapidly. This means African countries will have more money to spend on healthcare as time goes by.
This presents us not only an opportunity to embrace the advances made in delivery of emergency medical services made by our colleagues in higher income countries, but also to learn from their mistakes.
The future of emergency medical services/air ambulance services in Africa will be underpinned by technology, cost reduction and centralized healthcare systems.
I look forward and open to sharing and collaborating with you all as we continue to save lives by saving time across Africa.
Dr Ola Brown (Orekunrin), Founder
Flying Doctors Nigeria Air Ambulance
West Africa’s Leading Air Ambulance service for almost a decade!