Amref Health Africa Responds to Attack in Garissa, Kenya

Attack at Garissa University College on April 2, 2015 killed 148

Responding immediately to the attack at Garissa University College on April 2, 2015 AMREF Flying Doctors - Amref Health Africa's medical evacuation service -  provided four air ambulances and a medical team to assist the critically injured. 148 people died in the attack on April 2, 2015.

The medical team of two doctors and three nurses assisted with triage at the Garissa District Hospital and identified the most critically injured of the victims for evacuation to Nairobi for further specialized treatment.

Over the course of two days, AMREF Flying Doctors evacuated 26 patients from Garissa, including university students, Kenya Defence Force (KDF) personnel and police.

“In times of tragic incidents such as this it is critical that medical experts are allowed to step in to save lives and further injuries”, said Dr Bettina Vadera, Chief Executive Officer & Medical Director, AMREF Flying Doctors, “We are glad to offer our expertise, in collaboration with the government of Kenya and other emergency response agencies, to ensure the situation on the ground is managed in the best way possible.”

Patient in hospital following attack in Garissa, Kenya

Dr. Lennie Bazira. Kyomuhangi – Igbodipe (left), Interim CEO of Amref Health Africa ,and Dr. Bettina Vadera (right), Chief Executive & Medical Director of AMREF Flying Doctors, visit a patient injured in the Garissa attack in hospital in Nairobi, Kenya.

AMREF Flying Doctors regularly carries out charity evacuation missions targeting patients in serious medical conditions but who are not able to afford the cost of crucial air transfer to Nairobi for specialized medical attention.  In 2014, AMREF Flying Doctors invested approximately US$ 120,000 in evacuation of patients, from all over Kenya, with different medical emergency conditions resulting from Road Traffic Accidents, Pregnancy and Birth complications, Inter-tribal wars, etc.

These charity evacuation services include regular missions undertaken on behalf of the Government of Kenya through The Kenya National Disaster Operation Centre (NDOC).

Amref Health Africa has 33 employees in Garissa, working in the APHIAplus IMARISHA project funded by USAID and PEPFAR. Amref Health Africa staff were among the first to respond to the distress calls using one of the office vehicles to transport the injured to hospital.

Amref Health Africa sends our condolences to the families of those who have been affected and stands in solidarity with the people of Garissa at this time.

Jennifer Foulds
Director of Communications and Public Relations

Jennifer Foulds is the Director of Communications and Public Relations at AMREF Canada.

Want to interview an Amref Health Africa expert? Get in touch with our Director of Communications and PR, Jennifer Foulds.