How aeromedical evacuation plays a very crucial role


There is need for more innovative and affordable emergency evacuation services. FILE PHOTO | NMG

In the modern day and age that we live in, the need for quicker, better medical solutions and emergency evacuation services is on the rise. More Kenyans are seeking and investing in better and effective medical and evacuation solutions for themselves and their families to ensure protection and rapid response in the event of an emergency.

Rapid response to emergencies is vital in any given situation but with our traffic gridlocks all over the city, emergency road evacuation is hindered. Even though our ambulances make it through the hustle of the traffic due to their sirens, in typical Kenyan fashion you will often find someone blocking the ambulances or tailing them closely in efforts to beat the traffic.

In more developed countries, their governments have formulated strategies that enable road emergency evacuation services to continue in the event of traffic jams. Hefty penalties are imposed on those citizens who are found obstructing ambulances thus more and more people adhere and give way to ambulances.

Back home there is need for more innovative and affordable emergency evacuation services. This is where emergency air evacuation services come in to play. They enable for quicker evacuation and quick transfer to hospitals.

Most may perceive this as an expensive affair and one that is only available to the wealthy. However, most people would be shocked to know just how affordable it is. From as little as Sh5,000 one can benefit from the service from anywhere in eastern Africa. More insurance companies should work closely with aeromedical service providers to either tailor make covers that are inclusive of this service or work together to improve current medical covers to include aeromedical services. This will not only give insurance clients more options under their cover but will also provide Kenyans with value for their money when it comes to medical insurance services.

On a personal level, aeromedical services have personally saved my life. In 2001 I got involved in an accident at Lake Kivu in Rwanda that’s located between Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda that left me with a broken foot and unstoppable bleeding.

As we were on a steep mountain, I was unable to carry my own weight down the mountain however with assistance from friends I was able to get down the mountain.

Finding a healthcare centre in the area was a struggle due to its dense forest cover. We were able to locate a small dispensary that was only stocked with painkillers that helped me endure a gruesome 187km journey from the area to Kigali. I was then airlifted to the Aga Khan Hospital in Nairobi where I received the treatment that saved my shattered foot.

We can never know when we shall need any emergency treatment or evacuation. However, it’s important for us to know that these services exist and it is important for us to invest in these protective solutions that can benefit and even save our lives or the lives of our loved ones. It’s time for Kenya to step up and make informed decisions that will see them benefit from aeromedical services.

The writer is chairman, Centric Air Ambulance.