Nigeria, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), has one of the worst health indices in the world until recently. Nigeria was rated 187th out of 191 WHO member countries. Nigeria is also ranked 74th out of 115 countries, based on the performance of some selected health indicators by the World Bank and in infant mortality (91 per1000 live births) is among the highest in the world.
Several studies have shown that one of the major problems contributing to poor healthcare delivery in Nigeria is lack of a functional Emergency Medical Services (EMS). According to medical experts, part of the challenges limiting the successful implementation of the EMS include: the distance of major health facilities, which are far away from the rural communities; poor road and communication network; lack of vehicles to convey patients in emergency state or critical health conditions out of the area; lack of medical equipment for resuscitation among others. Experts also argued that due to these circumstances, hundreds of thousands of patients across Nigeria die because they are in the wrong place at the wrong time, hence, the need to protect the health of the teeming population of Nigeria by investing more funds in EMS.
Minister of State for Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, during the launch of the National Policy on EMS, said that Nigeria needs an estimated 5,000 ambulance units and operational funds for efficient implementation of the National Guidelines for ambulance service.
As part of efforts to address the challenges of EMS in Nigeria, which has led to the poor state of health, air ambulance services has been identified as one of the solutions to help bridge the gap between geography and advanced healthcare. This has led to the introduction of Flying Doctors Nigeria (FDN) Limited, an EMS that specializes in air ambulances, medevac, medico-logistics services, remote site medical solutions services, medical infrastructural development, and medical training services.