Medical Evacuation during COVID-19 Pandemic Case Study
DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC
During the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, a British expat stationed in Mogadishu, Somalia was diagnosed with COVID-19. His condition required he be evacuated from the local Martino Hospital to the airport, with an armed escort. From the airport he would be flown to his home country for further treatment.
Pre-move, Hart co-ordinated with AMISOM, NISA (National Intelligence and Security Agency), the police, the hospital, the medical evacuation team, and the airport, as well as planning the gate access and the movement in and out of AAIA into Mogadishu city. As well as typical briefing on threats such as Al-Shabaab, the team was briefed on COVID-19 precautionary measures for the two-vehicle move, including Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) and the distances to be kept between all personnel.
“The whole task has been seamless; we are very impressed with you and your team.” – Medical Company
Security escort teams (SETs) wearing PPE and Ballistic Protection Equipment (BPE) headed into Mogadishu to collect the patient and escort the ambulance to the runway. Martino Hospital is one of the key testing centres for COVID-19 in the city, with Somalia being the worst-hit country in East Africa with regards to infection rate. Hart were prepared for the procedure on the airstrip, engaging with the medical crew safely. The patient was placed into a full adult incubator and carried onto the plane, to be flown back to the UK.
Once the mission was completed, the team headed back to Hart Operations Centre in Chelsea Village and removed all of the PPE which was taken away by MSS (Medical Support Solutions, the on-site medical unit at Chelsea Village) and burnt. The team’s clothes were all washed separately as per WHO COVID-19 guidelines.
“We’ve all been trained by WHO on sanitisation, PPE and the pre-cautionary COVID-19 actions to take. As with other threats, we are prepared. And that’s why Hart operates in unstable environments like this – because we are equipped to deal with situations, as they arise,” says Greg Brownlow, Country Manager.
Greg established a communication log with the medical extraction company keeping them fully informed of the medical extraction until aircraft wheels were up from Somalia. Hart is now on the network of official security providers to this company for different parts of the world.