WHY THE MAISHA CARD IS A MUST HAVE:
Not so many people in Kenya and the East African region consider air evacuation in times of medical emergency. Air evacuation is considered as a costly aair and a foreign practice. Yet, medical
evacuation is a ‘must’ kind of service for almost all of us due to the uncertainty of medical emergencies and tragedies.
Read more on the Business Daily.....
AMREF Flying Doctors is shown in the IAG Globus database as an Air Ambulance company and a full medical assistance company delivering the full range of medical assistance services in Eastern Africa. Can you please update us on the legal status of AMREF Flying Doctors?
AMREF (African Medical & Research Foundation) is an international health NGO, with its HQ in Nairobi, Kenya. AMREF Flying Doctors (AFD) is an independent not-for-profit limited liability company, solely owned by AMREF. All profits from the AMREF Flying Doctors’ operation go to support the work of AMREF.
AMREF Flying Doctors now sells its own products (Maisha). Can you please tell us more about what Maisha is ?
Maisha is AMREF Flying Doctors’ new air ambulance schemes aimed at providing quality and affordable medical evacuation services throughout the Eastern Africa region.
The scheme targets individuals and corporate annual subscribers. Maisha covers the East Africa region, including: Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Zanzibar, Ethiopia and South Sudan
Some of the benefits of AMREF Flying Doctors Annual Subscription include
a. Two evacuation flights per year
b. Two ground ambulance transfers per year within Kenya
c. Direct access to our 24 Hour Control Centre for medical advice
d. Direct access to the air ambulance provider, no third party
The scheme has proved very popular, with currently over 30,000 annual subscribers.
If we focus on AMREF Flying Doctors air ambulance activity, we usually think of the air ambulance activity of AMREF Flying Doctors in Eastern Africa. AMREF Flying Doctors is also repatriating patients to their countries of origin in Europe, Asia. Can you please tell us more about this out- of Africa air ambulance activity?
AFD carried out over 200 out of Africa medical evacuation flights last year. Using air ambulance jets (Citation Bravos and Citation Excel) that are fully equipped from a regulatory aspect to operate in Europe means that other African based organisation often request the support of AFD to complete intercontinental missions that their aircraft cannot perform.
Our major advantages are we can often fly into in areas that present difficulties to European operators and we have a faster speed of response, as we are already closer to the location of the patient.
Back to Africa, how many medevacs with air ambulances did AMREF Flying Doctors achieve within Africa in 2013?
We completed 761 evacuations within Africa last year throughout the continent, using the full range of our available aircraft, from Cessna Caravans for the short, rough regional airstrips, through to Beechcraft King Airs and Cessna Citation jets. There are no countries within the continent in which we cannot operate, although some do present challenges.
AMREF Flying Doctors is a full medical assistance company delivering medical assistance services in all Eastern Africa. Can you please share with us the numbers of cases opened in 2013 for all the medical assistance companies AMREF Flying Doctors cooperates with?
Can you please provide the breakdown of cases per country in Africa?
AFD handled 1,378 active assistance case files last year and almost 1,000 aeromedical evacuation flights.
These were throughout the continent but mainly focused on regional activity, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan, Ethiopia.
What are AMREF Flying Doctors capabilities for cost containment of hospital bills in Kenya and in the region?
With AMREF, an international health organisation that has been active in the health sector in Africa for 57 years, AFD is very familiar with the rates and the quality of various medical procedures in most locations. AFD is aware that rural medical facilities can sometimes play upon the international insurance and assistance companies by charging for procedures that may not be available. AFD can monitor the invoices for such claims and advise when costs are either unreasonable or potentially fraudulent. We are frequently requested to look into medical bills on behalf of an overseas insurance and can advise when the invoices are intentionally high or appear not to be genuine.
How is the staff organized at AMREF Flying Doctors?
AFD has 41 staff, at all levels, including medical, aircraft, operations, engineering, accounting etc.
We have 4 full time pilots and share another 21 others with our major partner, Phoenix Aviation Ltd, allowing 24/7 coverage for all aircraft types. Aircrew must have a minimum of 1500 hours before they join us and demonstrate the exceptional skills required to operate in our challenging environment.
Air Ambulance flights are usually accompanied by a doctor and a (Kenyan) ICU flight nurse. Medical crews come from our 2 full time or 10 part time physicians (specialising in Emergency Medicine, Intensive care Medicine and Anesthesiology) and our 12 ICU flight nurses ( Kenya Registered Nurse /ICU diploma course. Minimum 4 yrs work experience, 2 yrs ICU exp.) Training for the nurses is via in house CME plus OJT and a minimum 25 flight hrs per nurse per month as well as the CCAT course in the UK. Most of the flight physicians are part-time physicians with us, which ensures their regular exposure to critical patient care. However, all our flight nurses are full time.
Among all countries covered by AMREF Flying Doctors, what is the most difficult to operate in and why ?
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Ethiopia are both very challenging, particularly with regard to the time it takes to arrange and confirm landing clearances.
What are Dr Vadera’s recommendations to the IAG Doctors when dealing with cases in Eastern Africa ?
Medical facilities in the region are few and far between. Standards vary considerably between urban and rural care and without local knowledge it can be difficult to judge the care and expertise that might be offered or is even available. Not all hospitals operate under international standards or carry out best-practice medicine. Good detailed communications are vital. AFD can assist and give guidance to IAG Doctors throughout the region.
What are the main challenges faced by AFD when requested to organize a air ambulance in Eastern Africa?
The main challenges are usually obtaining landing and overflight clearances, which is often a factor of a lack of security or political instability in many areas. Many of the airfields to which we operate are unmanned and the need for terrain and airfield information that is up to date is paramount, especially as so many airfields are daylight operations only.
What explains the success of AMREF Flying Doctors in the assistance business for the last half century?
With 57 years of experience in the region AFD has gained both respect and a large network of contacts within and around many countries to ensure that the care as proclaimed by the local medical facility is actually given to the client. With the vacuum of professional and sometimes ethical considerations in many areas, AFD has the local knowledge to advise and serve external expectations of international insurance and assistance companies to ensure the patient receives the best possible care available. Communication, particularly with rural facilities can be a challenge for external organisations and AFD should be the first stop for IAG members who are in need of advice and support.
It’s a Karibu Travel Market Tanzania Time!
Once again, AMREF Flying Doctors will be participating at the Karibu Travel Market Fair, Arusha 2014, from 6th -8th June 2014.
It is going to be huge if not big and we would like to welcome you, your family and friends to visit our stand (the Karibu fair (W 14 R) at Karibu Fair in Arusha, show love and care for youself and family by Subscribing to our Annual memberships Maisha and our Tourist cover for that peace of mind
The unutilized funds which emanate from these subscriptions go solely to the Charity Evacuations Kitty.
AMREF Flying Doctors carries over 20 charity medical evacuations annually. These noble missions target the financially unprivileged, and also the marginalized communities in our society.
For more on these stories, kindly log in to our website www.flydoc.org and get to know how precious life is.
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AMREF Flying Doctors CEO and Medical Director, Dr. Bettina Vadera settles Baby Satrine and the Dad in a Ground Ambulance soon after receiving them at the Wilson Airport this morning.
On the morning of 25th March 2014, AMREF Flying Doctors evacuated Baby Satrine Osinya, one of the victims of a gun attack on a church in Mombasa. Baby Osinya needed to go through a delicate procedure to remove the bullet lodged in his head.
AMREF Flying Doctors successfully delivered Baby Satrine from Mombasa to Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi by air ambulance. As part of AMREF Flying Doctors charity evacuation programme, the costs for this Air Ambulance flight will be absorbed by AMREF Flying Doctors, who regularly undertake charity evacuations.
These charity missions are done under special circumstances, in partnership with rural medical facilities, the Kenyatta National Hospital and other private medical institutions, targeting patients in serious medical conditions who are not able to afford the cost of crucial air transfer. To retrieve baby Satrine, AMREF Flying Doctors deployed one of their Intensive-care-equipped Air Ambulance aircraft with a specialized emergency medical crew on board.
More information can be obtained from us on www.flydoc.org, or contact us on
AMREF Flying Doctors supported the 2013 Horse of the Year Show (HOTYS 2013) which was held on Thursday 12th to Sunday 15th December at the Jamhuri Park, Nairobi.
HOTYS is an annual event organized by the Horse Association Kenya (HAK) as part of the activities geared towards promoting the welfare of and knowledge about horses, and – most prominently – horse sports in Kenya.
Last year’s show was bigger and more exciting with the incorporation of Juvenile and Young Riders into the programme.
Our main objective was to create brand awareness and sales.Read more...
AMREF Flying Doctor was proud to be a sponsor of the golf tournament that took place at the Muthaiga Golf Club on Wednesday 15th January 2014.
Three people who sustained gun shot wounds were Wednesday evacuated from Moyale after clan feuds left scores killed and about 100 head of cattle driven away by attackers from Ethiopia. Reports from the ground say none of the cattle had been recovered by the end of the day as a team of AMREF Flying Doctors were dispatched to the area to airlift casualties to Nairobi for treatment.Read more...
AMREF Flying Doctors have received a new Neonatal Transport Incubator, TI 500 Incubator.
This is neonatal transport incubator that is used for safe transport of extreme premature babies, preterm babies and full term newborn babies that require movement from one facility to another. It provides mobile neonatal intensive care set up especially to critically ill neonates. The incubator is one of the latest incubator in the world market, produced and marketed by Drager.
The TI 500 Transport provides a mobile neonatal intensive care system, to accommodate your most critical infants during transport.