DIASPORA mobile clinic Flying Doctors Nigeria has unveiled a new piece of equipment known as the isolation pod that will serve as a temporary shelter to provide quarantine services for patients infected with the Covid-19 virus.
Flying Doctors of Nigeria is an air ambulance service established by UK medic Dr Ola Orekunrin that has its main office in Lagos and another in Port Harcourt with 20 aircraft and 47 staff, 44 of whom are doctors. As well as moving injured and ill patients to hospital, the organisation has set up medical infrastructure for the government and worked with private companies to improve their on-site medical services.
As part of its contribution to combating the coronavirus pandemic, Flying Doctors Nigeria has unveiled what is known in the medical field as the biological isolation transport unit. These are mobile capsules primarily used to provide isolation when transporting patients by either air or land.
According to Flying Doctors, the isopod is designed to enable an efficient air transfer of patients with highly contagious diseases, like Covid-19, while ensuring the absolute safety of both the medical and aviation crew. Dr Jibayo Oyedele, the medical director of Flying Doctors, noted that the launch is another demonstration of the organisation’s innovative and forward-thinking mien.
Dr Oyedele said: “From the conceptualisation of the business over a decade ago to our remarkable success over the years and now the availability of the isolation pod, our focus has always been to ensure that exceptional healthcare services are available to people in their locations of choice. With this isolation pod, we are now able to evacuate and transport Covid-19 patients to their preferred destination to access medical care without the risk of cross-infection to the medical and aviation crew.”
He added that patients who have tested positive for infectious diseases such as the Covid-19 can only be transported where there is a barrier between the healthcare providers and patients. According to Dr Oyedele, such transportation process will also require extensive use of personal protective equipment from evacuation to arrival and admission.
Ajibola Bakare, Flying Doctors Nigeria’s sales and business development manager, said that following the implementation of a standard suiting process specific to Covid-19 operations and the rigorous training of their medical and aviation crew, medical evacuation with the isopod is now available to the public. He added: “We are able to repatriate patients within Nigeria, to their home countries as well as to suitable third-country jurisdictions with the requisite and available healthcare capacity and capabilities for further treatment.”