Africa?s Trauma Epidemic

Lagos — It was dusk and I was on my way home from Abeokuta, a vibrant city in southwest Nigeria. My driver had switched off the car’s air-conditioning so I could open the windows and feel the breeze. He was weaving between potholes in the road when suddenly, the scene ahead changed.

A large truck had pulled out carelessly onto the road, knocking a car straight into the median.

That stretch of road is notoriously dangerous, not just because of traffic accidents but also because of armed robbers. It’s for that reason that I suppressed my natural instinct to stop and help.

I was filled with guilt as we passed the wrecked car, because I knew that if the young man at the wheel had been badly injured, there was only a small chance that he would get the emergency treatment he needed.

I knew this because I am a trauma doctor and the founder of West Africa’s first indigenous air ambulance service…

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