In 2001, Dr Steve Mainda, the board chair of Centric Air Ambulance, was involved in an accident that broke his left leg, completely fractured at Lake Kivu geographically located between Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda.
Unable to carry carry his own weight, his doctor friends climbed down the steep mountain which he had rolled down to.
Finding a healthcare centre in the scarcely populated area in the dense forest was a challenge as Dr Mainda’s friends could only locate a small dispensary that was only stocked with painkillers.
With a broken leg and unstoppable bleeding, Dr Mainda had to endure a 187km distance journey to Kigali before boarding a plane to Kenya and receive the required treatment for his injuries at Aga Khan Hospital.
It is this experience that motivated Dr Mainda to sit at the board of directors as the chairman of Centric Air Ambulance, that has entered the Kenyan emergency medical evacuation market.
With rampant accidents on Kenyan roads, air and water bodies, Centric Air Ambulance is aimed at creating an impact in saving lives of injured persons within the golden hour.
Golden hour in regards to medicine refers to the first hour after an accident, when emergency treatment is most likely to be successful.
According to Centric Air Ambulance boss Mr Peter Nduati, the market presented a need for a quick and effective emergency response and an opportunity to touch lives through aeromedical services.
“In the modern day we live in, medical services are held dear to most of us, the need for quality and reliable medical services is on the rise. It is with this in mind that Centric Air Ambulance comes into play. When distance, speed and patient condition are beyond the capabilities of a ground ambulance or commercial flights; aeromedical evacuation is the next best and only solution to saving lives. Not only does it guarantee timely and professional emergency response it also enables treatment and stabilization of patients on site and on transit,” said Mr Nduati.
“In the emergency care system framework, we provide a reliable and timely solution on how to transfer patient quickly from a scene to a medical centre within the golden hour at an affordable rate,” he added.
With a fleet of five fixed wing and two helicopters, Centric Air Ambulance, all credited and continuous training team, the aircrafts have the latest quality and necessary medical equipment and technology required for emergency evacuation including a life boat.
The aeromedical transport consists of specialized medical personnel, comprising of Anesthetists, Critical Care Nurses, Emergency Care Specialist, Paramedics and Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs).
“Presently we are servicing clients in Kenya and East Africa region. We aim to cover the whole continent (Africa) and the world at large. In another capacity we are a medical service provider that fly to London non-stop,” added Mr Nduati.
The Air Ambulance is popular among medical insurance companies with individuals warming up to the services and taking up active subscription for their families.
“In Centric Air Ambulance the subscription fees are very affordable. For a local who wants to be covered in Kenya pays Sh2,400 per annum, Sh7,000 for East Africa coverage, across Africa is Sh17,000 and globally the subscription rate is at Sh24,000,” noted Mr Nduati.
The market analysis of Air Ambulance services in the country stands at a turnover of Sh3 billion. Centric Air Ambulance is aimed at achieving at least 20 percent of the revenue in the first year of business.