Taiwo Malumi; Nigerian medical doctor, Ilaje born and University of Ibadan-trained Malumi berthed the first air ambulance service in West Africa when he established Medic Air, first air ambulance in Nigeria in 1994 after successfully turning a four-bed space hospital to 60-bed space.
Malumi’s Funtai Hospital and Maternity Homes in Port-Harcourt, River State capital, was a household name. With best equipment that met international standard, the hospital had on its pay roll expatriate medical practitioners who attended to patients while Dr Malumi was left to handle special cases. His knowledge of the profession was acknowledged by top government functionaries and captains of industry. Top people from the Eastern states made him their physician.
For Malumi, the idea of the air ambulance project was conceived when the day-to-day affairs of meeting with patients had been left for his junior doctors. Medic Air then had a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), with select medical centers in South Africa. Visas were given on air. The challenge of running an air ambulance service weighed heavily on Malumi that he decided to shut the business after life threatening challenges faced when his company flew out a dying patient. His efforts to bring back the service at the dawn of democracy in Nigeria were thwarted by unfavourable regulatory requirements Malumi’s Medic Air was a forerunner to Ola Orekunrin’s Flying Doctors[i].
[i] NATION May 22, 2013