Company set up by young British-Nigerian medic boosts healthcare with its 20 aircraft and ‘flying doctors’
Dr Ola Orekunrin has delivered the healthcare innovation that Nigeria’s government has yet to: Flying Doctors Nigeria. The air ambulance company has airlifted more than 500 patients to safety, and has seen Orekunrin rewarded with a TED fellowship, as well as lecturing on entrepreneurship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
It’s a beacon of hope, with 20 aircraft and 47 staff. Forty-four of the staff are doctors, including a team of senior flight physicians who are skilled in critical care designed to work miles above ground.
As well as moving injured and ill patients to hospital, Flying Doctors sets up medical infrastructure for the government, and works with private companies to improve their on-site medical services.
But the service was born of a tragedy. Orekunrin, a British Nigerian, had been thinking about using her skills to improve African healthcare since she was a medical student. “It was around that time,” she says…