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FEATURE


Assurance from the skies


In the Middle East and Africa, two new International SOS air ambulances have successfully completed their first missions.


W “ By launching


these two state- of-the-art air ambulances, we are demonstrating International SOS’ commitment to our members





ith the rise in commercial activity across the Middle East and Africa, organizations face new challenges in meeting their duty


of care to employees. “Economic liberalization over the last decade, combined with the strategic geographical importance of both the Middle East and Africa, mean that business travelers and expatriates are increasingly working at different locations in these regions”, explains Olivier Ryder, International SOS’ Regional General Manager for the Middle East and Africa. “Such parts of the world do present organizations and individuals with specific security and medical risks”, he continues. “By launching these two state-of-the-art air ambulances, we are demonstrating International SOS’ commitment to our members, and to these rapidly developing regions.” The two Learjet 45 aircraft are based at Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, and in Nigeria’s commercial hub Lagos. Complementing International SOS’ existing air ambulance operations in South Africa and Europe, they can reach patients much more quickly in the event of a medical emergency in North and West Africa, the Middle East, the Caspian and Central Asia.


Medical teams and flight crew on both aircraft are on call 24 hours a day to provide emergency evacuation services. Both jets are medically configured to accommodate up to two patients and are staffed by highly trained doctors and paramedics who specialize in emergency response and aero- medicine, with advanced onboard medical equipment for the provision of in-flight intensive care. As Dr Neil Nerwich, Group Medical Director, Assistance at International SOS explains, they operate in synergy with International SOS’ on-the-ground resources – including the clinics in Lagos, Warri, Port Harcourt, N’Djamena, Takoradi and Sana’a, and the recently opened alarm center in Dubai. The air ambulance in Lagos has already completed four evacuations successfully, with the one in Abu Dhabi having already carried out an evacuation from from Afghanistan to India. “These proven additions to the International SOS fleet will ensure our members in these regions benefit from faster evacuation times and the exceptional standard of medical care they associate with International SOS”, says Dr Nerwich. “This infrastructure gives us an unparalleled capability to rapidly respond to members with medical emergencies across Africa and the Middle East.” ■


Hotline Silver Edition, 2010 25


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