•Win Aviation Award
By Chioma Umeha
Flying Doctors Nigeria has called on Nigeria and other African countries to incorporate air ambulance services into their health sector.
Making the call in Lagos at weekend, Flying Doctors Nigeria Founder, Dr Ola Brown, stated that Nigeria, along with other African countries, needs air ambulance services more than developed countries, because of the various challenges bedeviling their health sector.
Dr Brown said this after receiving 2017 Aviation Most Remarkable Medical Personality Award from the Nigeria Aviation Awards (NIGAV) in Lagos.
NIGAV is a prestigious annual award conferred on outstanding individuals and corporate bodies who have distinguished themselves in the Nigerian aviation sector.
The 2017 award, which was bestowed on Brown by NIGAV this year, is a recognition of Flying Doctors Nigeria’s role in saving lives during critical and emergency situations in sub-Sahara Africa.
Receiving the award, Brown stated that she is grateful for the recognition, adding that the award will propel her to use Flying Doctors Nigeria as a platform to rescuing more lives during critical times.
Brown said: “I am highly elated by this award. As physicians, we at Flying Doctors Nigeria are using a combination of medicine and aviation to get patients who live in West African sub-region to the right medical facilities at the right timeframe.
“This award further shows that our activities are not unnoticed by aviation watchers. It is a clarion call for us at Flying Doctors Nigeria to do more.”
She explained that it is a misconception to think that air ambulance services are meant for only people in the developed world.
Brown said: “I think a lot of people have this misconception that air ambulance services are just for developed countries. My vision in bringing this concept of air ambulance services to Africa is because it is even more important for West Africa than it is for the developed world.
“One of the reasons is due to our lack of infrastructure; we have poor seasonal roads in many parts of African. So, it makes it even more important for us to circumvent that challenge by air when getting patients to hospitals from hard-to- reach locations.
“The second reason is due to the fact that the distance between patients and hospitals is a lot farther than it is in the developed countries. The third reason is attributed to the number of inadequate doctors we have in West Africa.”
Brown noted that there is a need to render prompt medical services to people in need to save the lives of over one billion people who lose their lives globally due to lack of timely medical interventions.