Today is National Doctors’ Day! We’ll be featuring both unsung heroes and well-known women in the field of medicine. Our first doctor finished medical school when she was only 21! Ola Orekunrin is the founder of Flying Doctors Nigeria.
Born in London, Ola was in medical school at the University of York when her sister was on vacation in Nigeria. Her sister, diagnosed with sickle cell anemia, needed a specialized hospital to treat an acute attack of the disease. But sadly, the nearest hospital was in South Africa - thousands of miles away. Without any way to be medically evacuated to a hospital, Ola’s sister tragically passed away.
The tragedy inspired Ola to make a change in her own life - rather than take a job as a doctor in England, Ola founded Flying Doctors Nigeria. It is the first air ambulance service in West Africa, and has airlifted over 500 patients in just 3 years. "From patients with road traffic trauma, to bomb blast injuries to gunshot wounds, we save lives by moving these patients and providing a high level of care en route," says Ola. She has since given a TEDx talk on her experiences.
March is Women’s History Month! To celebrate, we’re spotlighting our exchange alumni, famous stories, and unsung heroes. These women have shown us all that #ItOnlyTakesOne to raise the bar, set a new standard, or make a positive impact. Share your favorite stories for Women’s History Month with us on social media by tagging them with #ItOnlyTakesOne.
Photo Credit: 1, 2, 3, 4