How Air evacuation services can help locals in case of medical emergencies

By Lydia Atieno.

According to the latest World Health Organisation (WHO) data published in 2018 life expectancy in Rwanda is male 66.1, female 69.9 and total life expectancy is 68.0 which give Rwanda a World Life Expectancy ranking of 129.

Zephanie Niyonkuru, CEO at Rwanda Development Board (RDB) said this has been achieved because of efforts put in by the government of Rwanda to ensure people get access to better health services, and also have practices that reduce the mortality rate of children and adults.

In a bid to better health care services and reducing mortality rates, AMREF Flying Doctors over the weekend launched a campaign in Kigali to create awareness of importance and availability of Air Ambulance Services in the Rwanda market.

AMREF Flying Doctors is the leading air ambulance service provider in Eastern Africa based in Kenya, that offers air medical evacuations services in case of emergencies.

Niyonkuru said Air ambulance is a critical part of the good health system.

As part of the awareness campaign, AMREF Flying Doctors had been engaging various Partners and stakeholders in an effort to come up with the best way of popularizing Air Ambulance Services and rolling out its world-class services within.

AMREF Flying Doctors has already been operating in Rwanda and is seeking to expand its footprint and uptake in the market.

According to Niyonkuru, everyone needs such services to better their lives and reduce the burden of incurring air costs that come along in cases of medical emergencies.

The next task, he said, is to structure people within all areas to get affordable insurance covers so that they can access these services to save lives.

Among the products offered by ARMRFE is Maisha gold, which is annual air Ambulance cover that aimed at providing quality medical evacuation services to individuals at a fee of 55 USD, approximately RWF 55,000 per person.

This particular product covers subscribers in East African countries including Rwanda.

The CEO Amref flying doctor signed a visitor book at the Genocide memorial site.

According to statistics, emergency medical evacuation and transport costs typically start at 25,000 and can exceed USD 250,000 depending upon where you are on the globe

“In cases of emergencies, where patients need further specialized care to get to another end as fast as possible, that’s where we come in,” said Stephen Gitau, Chief Executive officer AMREF Flying Doctors.

At the moment, when someone is in a critical condition like has heart problem that cannot be detected within the country, and there is a recommendation to see a doctor in Nairobi or any other country, the available options include transfer by the road or commercial airlines.

From left Stephen ombuya-chief commercial officer AMREF: Stephen Gitau CEO and Mike Black – chief operating officer

“Commercial airlines have some specific requirements before transporting a critical patient, a lot of the time when a patient is in a critical condition, is not an option and that’s how we come in to offer efficient effective transfers that are dependable,” added Gitau.

The company targets ordinary people, insurance companies with patients on medical covers that allow treatment outside the country.

They also target government on the tourism side as the  key competitive advantages of the services is  when people are visiting the country, either as leisure tourist or business investors, in case of emergency, they can benefit from the air ambulance services.

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Elias Hakizimana

Elias Hakizimana, CEO&Founder of The Inspirer Ltd,( is a professional Rwandan Journalist with Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Communication, received from University of Rwanda’s College of Arts and Social Sciences (CASS) in 2014. He served various media houses in Rwanda including Rwanda Broadcasting Agency (RBA) in 2013 and became passionate with English Online and Print Media Publications where he exercised his talent as a Freelance News Reporter for The New Times, The Independent, The Rwanda Focus, Panorama and more before he became a Self-Entrepreneur as the CEO and Founder of The Inspirer Limited in early 2017.

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