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Olamide Orekunrin is a twenty-eight year old British-Nigerian doctor who founded Flying Doctors Nigeria, the first air ambulance service in West Africa, transporting victims of medical emergencies, including industrial workers from the country's booming oil and gas sector. Currently in its third year, the Lagos-based company has so far airlifted about 500 patients, using a fleet of planes and helicopters to rapidly move injured workers and critically ill people from remote areas to hospitals.

Orekunrin was originally studying to become a doctor in the UK a few years ago. However, her younger sister fell seriously ill while traveling in Nigeria and was unable to obtain an air ambulance service to rapidly transport her to a more suitable healthcare facility, which led to her eventual death. From that event, she decided to leave behind a job in the UK to take to the Nigerian skies and address the vital issue of urgent healthcare in Africa's most populous country.

Currently in its third year, Orekunrin’s Lagos-based company has so far airlifted about 500 patients, using a fleet of planes and helicopters to rapidly move injured workers and critically ill people from remote areas to hospitals. Looking ahead, Orekunrin says her goal is to continue improving access to treatment while focusing on the pre-hospital and in-hospital management of injuries.

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Disclaimer: no individual is perfect, nor are all of our sources of information. These short bios are by no means full scale endorsement of all the policies and actions of these individuals. We simply recognize the influence they have had on the African continent and hope these bios can serve as a prompt for further exploration.

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