Kenya Launches First Air Ambulance Service

Kenya has launched its first national air ambulance service to evacuate security forces wounded in battle. President Uhuru Kenyatta said the service was vital to ensure they received swift treatment.

Kenyatta and a patient inside the air ambulance
Kenyatta and a patient inside the air ambulance

Some soldiers and policemen have bled to death or have died of dehydration in remote areas of Kenya because of long delays in getting them to hospital.

BBC reports that the government has now reached a deal with the Red Cross and private firm AMREF Flying Doctors to despatch helicopters and vehicles as soon as distress calls are received.

The new evacuation service will also be offered to civil servants, especially those who work in the security field in rural areas with few medical facilities. Somali Islamist group al-Shabab has stepped up attacks in Kenya in recent years.

Last month, the militants killed 64 people in two attacks in the north-eastern region of Mandera, which borders Somalia.

“This is a crucial service, especially for our security officers, who put themselves on the front line against our enemies, to ensure that Kenyans are safe wherever they are,” Mr Kenyatta said at the launch in Nairobi.

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