October 31, 2005

Positivity: Flying Doctors to the Rescue

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:09 am

A nearly 50 year-old organization remains in service:

Infectious diseases like AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis are seen as the greatest threat to people in developing countries. But medical conditions like heart disease, cancer and diabetes are also major killers in the developing world. Treatments and medicines are scant, particularly for people who live far off the beaten track.

A half century ago, American and British physicians started a medical service called the Flying Doctors to airlift people out of remote eras in medical emergencies. It has now become a way to reach out to Kenyans who have long done without medical care.

The small planes of the Flying Doctor’s fleet now signal the arrival of medical specialists that the locals have come to depend on.

From their web site:

The Flying Doctors Service is part of the African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF) and was established over almost 50 years ago by Sir Michael Wood, in 1957. Since then, the Flying Doctors have been involved in many health care projects in East Africa, one of them being the Air Ambulance Services.

The Flying Doctors Service provides air evacuation service in medical emergencies as well as air ambulance transfers between medical facilities. In addition, patients are repatriated to Europe, Asia and North America or medical escort is provided on commercial carriers.

AMREF Flying Doctors Service operates 24hours/day, 365 days of the year through its control centre located at Wilson Airport in Nairobi. Highly qualified medical staff and aircrew are on standby to respond to emergencies.

AMREF owns and operates a fleet of aircraft which can be converted into airborne intensive care units, using modern medical equipment.

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