Flying Doctors Nigeria, an air ambulance services company, has called for the regional integration of medical services in the West Africa, describing the move as advantageous for the sub-region.
Speaking in Banjul, The Gambia, during this year’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 “medical centres of excellence that can receive large volumes of specialist medical cases”, explaining that these centres will help medical personnel to “develop expertise in very specific areas of medicine.”
The West African College of Surgeons (WACS)’ annual meeting is one of the most prestigious medical conferences in Africa. Surgeons attended the conference from about 22 West African countries. This year’s WACS conference had “Global Surgery Implementation for West Africa” as its theme.
Speaking further on international collaboration in the region, Brown stated that air ambulance services should be a key part of the region’s medical sector cooperation.
She explained that air ambulance services are capable of enhancing the region’s medical collaboration by “facilitating transportation of patients across long distances in very short timeframes.”
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 could help
patients save lives by “circumventing the region’s infrastructural
challenges, such as poorly maintained roads common in the region.”
Flying Doctors Nigeria is West Africa’s first and leading air
ambulance service organization, based in Nigeria. Established almost 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.