Ola Brown is the founder of Flying Doctors, West Africa’s first homegrown air ambulance service. As a medical doctor and helicopter pilot, Ola Brown established the service to bring quality health care to trauma victims in Nigeria.
Nigeria is one of the countries to record the highest number of road fatalities per year, her idea for the service could not have come at a better time. Ola Brown can be best described as one of those individuals who developed a unique service to address a lingering problem in society.
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Owing to her achievements and the impact her organization has had on many lives, Ola Brown was recently listed as one of the most influential young Nigerians of 2019. Her success story makes her an inspiration to many entrepreneurs around the globe.
Ola Brown was born and bred in London, England. She developed a passion for the medical field from a young age and this led her to study Medicine at the University of York in the UK. At the age of 21, she became the youngest medical doctor in the UK. Upon graduation, she was awarded the MEXT Japanese Government Scholarship where she studied clinic research in the field of regenerative medicine at the Jikei University Hospital.
Amid her achievements and budding career in Medicine, a tragic event occurred that would change the trajectory of her career. Her younger sister fell ill while on holiday in Nigeria. She had a sickle cell anaemia condition that could not be managed by the local hospital and there was no air ambulance to transport her to a stable medical facility. After a long search from Nigeria to Ghana, Sierra Leone and Cameroon, and across West Africa, the family eventually found an air ambulance, five hours away, in South Africa. Unfortunately, Ola’s sister died before she could get treatment.
“It was really a devastating time for me and I started thinking about whether I should be in England talking about healthcare in Africa, or I should be in Africa dealing with healthcare and trying to do something about it,” Ola recounted.
This led to her resigning from her job abroad and relocating to Nigeria where she knew a gap in the healthcare sector needed to be filled.
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Ola officially launched Flying Doctors Nigeria in 2007 after a thorough study of evacuation models and air ambulance services in developed countries. Today, she has earned the reputation of being the founder of the first air ambulance service in West Africa to provide helicopter, air ambulance, and evacuation services to critically ill or injured individuals.
Her company which is based in Lagos, Port Harcourt and other states in Nigeria is home to over 20 aircraft and about 30 staff all available to be dispatched to different locations in the country.
Owing to her hard work and brilliant solutions, Ola has earned global recognition from the business world and the medical community. This reflects in her huge following on social media. Given her over 90,000 followers on Twitter, Ola has succeeded in building a distinguished and easily recognisable brand and a milestone in the health sector.
Featured Image Source: The Spark
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