Flying Doctors Nigeria is an air ambulance service in Lagos, Nigeria. Dr. Ola Orekunrin, born to Nigerian parents in England and raised by Caucasian foster parents in Lowestoft, England, founded the service in 2010.


At the young age of 21, Orekunrin made history by becoming one of the youngest medical doctors in England. According to reports, Orekunrin’s interest in medicine came about because she watched her sister battle sickle cell anemia at a very young age; however, it was her sister’s sudden death from the disease in Nigeria, at the young age of 12 that prompted Orekunrin to launch Flying Doctors Nigeria.


Apparently, while vacationing in Nigeria, Orekunrin and her family searched earnestly for an air ambulance service to transfer her sister to a healthcare facility for patients with sickle cell anemia. They were astonished to discover that an air ambulance service did not exist in Nigeria and even worse, across West Africa at that time.


The passing of her sister was a call to action for Orekunrin. She left behind a lucrative job in England and relocated to Nigeria to set up shop for Flying Doctors Nigeria. Headquartered in Lagos, Flying Doctors Nigeria is a Medical Emergency Service specializing in air ambulances, medevac, medico-logistics services, remote site medical solutions services, medical infrastructural development and medical training services.


In a 2012 interview with Punch Nigeria, Orekunrin shared that Flying Doctors Nigeria is a physician-led service that adheres to the highest standards of medical practice supported by the East Anglican Air Ambulance in the United Kingdom. Its mission is simple: to provide the best possible standard of health care to all.


Flying Doctors Nigeria provides services primarily to individuals in industries such as banking, manufacturing, oil and gas, and construction. Employees in each of these industries are known to have high-risk jobs that require them to: work at great heights, drive long distances on poorly maintained roads, work offshore or at remote sites and operate in extreme environments. Generally, the companies where these individuals are employed cover the costs for services rendered. In some instances, the state government will bank roll the cost of care.


What are your thoughts about Orekunrin’s air ambulance service? Please share your thoughts with us in the comment section below or tweet me @LindaAmaechi.