News

Complements the local road ambulance services by providing rapid emergency aero-medical transportation of patients who are critically ill or injured.

Corona virus
  • Corona virus

Let's stand together to fight COVID 19

Let’s all work together to fight the spread of COVID-19. The AMS is committed to do everything in its power to work with government and society to fight this pandemic. Stay informed and take the necessary precaution to curb the spread of the Coranavirus! We will continue to render services to all South Africans, taking the necessary protective measures to keep our staff, patients and health workers safe. #COVID19 #Coronavirus Poster credit: National Department of Health

Let's stand together to fight COVID 19
  • Corona virus

Let's stand together to fight COVID 19

Let’s all work together to fight the spread of COVID-19. The AMS is committed to do everything in its power to work with government and society to fight this pandemic. Stay informed and take the necessary precaution to curb the spread of the Coranavirus! We will continue to render services to all South Africans, taking the necessary protective measures to keep our staff, patients and health workers safe. #COVID19 #Coronavirus Poster credit: National Department of Health

Werner Norval
  • Werner Norval

Meet our team ...

Today we introduce Werner Norval, Emergency Care Practitioner (ECP) based at our Cape Town base.  Werner, another fitness and outdoor enthusiast, joined the AMS family in November, here’s a look into his world …

Tell us about yourself: I grew up in Cape Town and attended DF Malan High School. I went on to study BCom Financial Accounting at Stellenbosch University. I soon realised that it was not for me. In 2007 I started working for Old Mutual as a financial adviser. During the first three years at Old Mutual, I studied financial planning at Milpark Business School. I worked for Old Mutual for another three years, six years in total. I then later resigned, re-did my matric Maths, Science and Biology and applied to study the BEMC course at the University of Johannesburg. After obtaining my degree in 2017 I started to work for Netcare911 in their ICU division. I was introduced to the aero-medical environment where I spent a year flying part time for them on their helicopter as an Emergency Care Practitioner (ECP). I resigned in October 2019 and started with AMS in November 2019.”

Were you in any other trade before? “Yes, finance.”

Why did you choose to join the AMS? “I believe it is a great company to work for. The experience I am gaining in the aero-medical environment with them is priceless.”

If you could master one skill you don’t have right now, what would it be? “To become a helicopter pilot.”

What do you do in your spare time? “I like to exercise, running and swimming specifically. Furthermore, my spare time goes towards planning my wedding and honeymoon later this year. I also like to braai and socialise with friends. I also have a motorbike that I enjoy doing some day trips on.”

What might someone be surprised to know about you? “I look much older than I really am!”

What do you enjoy most about your job? “Being able to serve the community and care for patients. Also, my office has the best view anyone can ask for.”

What is on your bedside table? “A lamp, fan and heater.”

If you could have dinner with five famous people from history, who would they be? Hitler I suppose; however, I am not that much into famous people. I would rather have dinner with my friends.”

When your friends/family find out what you do, what do they say or ask? “They always make a comment regarding the things we see and that they have a lot of respect for what we do.”

What has been the happiest day of your life? “That day is still coming…9 May 2020, my wedding day!”

If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be? “To be the helicopter pilot.”

What is your greatest indulgence? “Anything sweet, but I don’t share my tinkies!”

What is the one thing, you can’t live without?  “My soon to be wife! Oh, and oxygen! Typical paramedic thing to say.”

What is the one quality you feel best describes you? “Loyal.”

Best piece of advice anyone ever gave you? “Laugh every day!”

Do you have a life philosophy?Don’t overthink. I struggle with that.”

 

 

Meet our team ...
  • Werner Norval

Meet our team ...

Today we introduce Werner Norval, Emergency Care Practitioner (ECP) based at our Cape Town base.  Werner, another fitness and outdoor enthusiast, joined the AMS family in November, here’s a look into his world …

Tell us about yourself: I grew up in Cape Town and attended DF Malan High School. I went on to study BCom Financial Accounting at Stellenbosch University. I soon realised that it was not for me. In 2007 I started working for Old Mutual as a financial adviser. During the first three years at Old Mutual, I studied financial planning at Milpark Business School. I worked for Old Mutual for another three years, six years in total. I then later resigned, re-did my matric Maths, Science and Biology and applied to study the BEMC course at the University of Johannesburg. After obtaining my degree in 2017 I started to work for Netcare911 in their ICU division. I was introduced to the aero-medical environment where I spent a year flying part time for them on their helicopter as an Emergency Care Practitioner (ECP). I resigned in October 2019 and started with AMS in November 2019.”

Were you in any other trade before? “Yes, finance.”

Why did you choose to join the AMS? “I believe it is a great company to work for. The experience I am gaining in the aero-medical environment with them is priceless.”

If you could master one skill you don’t have right now, what would it be? “To become a helicopter pilot.”

What do you do in your spare time? “I like to exercise, running and swimming specifically. Furthermore, my spare time goes towards planning my wedding and honeymoon later this year. I also like to braai and socialise with friends. I also have a motorbike that I enjoy doing some day trips on.”

What might someone be surprised to know about you? “I look much older than I really am!”

What do you enjoy most about your job? “Being able to serve the community and care for patients. Also, my office has the best view anyone can ask for.”

What is on your bedside table? “A lamp, fan and heater.”

If you could have dinner with five famous people from history, who would they be? Hitler I suppose; however, I am not that much into famous people. I would rather have dinner with my friends.”

When your friends/family find out what you do, what do they say or ask? “They always make a comment regarding the things we see and that they have a lot of respect for what we do.”

What has been the happiest day of your life? “That day is still coming…9 May 2020, my wedding day!”

If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be? “To be the helicopter pilot.”

What is your greatest indulgence? “Anything sweet, but I don’t share my tinkies!”

What is the one thing, you can’t live without?  “My soon to be wife! Oh, and oxygen! Typical paramedic thing to say.”

What is the one quality you feel best describes you? “Loyal.”

Best piece of advice anyone ever gave you? “Laugh every day!”

Do you have a life philosophy?Don’t overthink. I struggle with that.”

 

 

Anathi Matutu
  • Anathi Matutu

Meet our team ...

Newly graduate and self-motivator Anathi Matutu joined the AMS family as Junior Accountant in our Finance Department in February this year. Here’s a look into Anathi’s world …

Who is Anathi Matutu? “I am from a windy city called Port Elizabeth. I am the last born amongst three girls. I have recently completed my Bachelor of Commerce degree, majoring in Financial Accounting at the University of the Western Cape (UWC). I am also a hardworking young female who is self- motivated, determined and have a desire to succeed.”

Were you in any other trade before? “Previously, I was a student assistant at my varsity where I assisted students in leasing out prescribed textbooks.”

Why did you choose to join the AMS? “The first thing that caught my eye when searching the organisation was the humanitarian aspect, providing maximum service to the community which is what I believe and am passionate about - offering my service to the community.”

If you could master one skill you don’t have right now, what would it be? “Initiative. I am a person who likes to suggest from activities to creating a norm.”

What do you do in your spare time? “I read books, listen to music and casually bake with my friends.”

What might someone be surprised to know about you? “I am not reserved as I appear to be. Once I am used to the environment and someone I become more relaxed and engaging.”

What do you enjoy most about your job? “My job does not only focus on a particular aspect. Every day you learn something new, which is what I enjoy most about my job.”

What is on your bedside table? “Journal, tissue, scented candles and vaseline.”

If you could have dinner with five famous people from history, who would they be?

“Martin Luther King, Mother Teresa, Albert Einstein, Coco Chanel and Nelson Mandela.”

When your friends/family find out what you do, what do they say or ask? “They literally asked me about journal entries, balance sheet (if it did balance) and VAT because I used to tell them a lot when I was still a student.”

What has been the happiest day of your life? “Completing my degree and getting a job that is in line with what I studied.”

If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be? “An engineer.”

What is your greatest indulgence? “I cannot decide on one. But anything with sugar – cake, doughnut, chocolate, etc.”

What is the one thing, you can’t live without? “I cannot live without lipstick.”

What is the one quality you feel best describes you? “Punctual.”

Best piece of advice anyone ever gave you?  “Obstacles are the cost of greatness”

Do you have a life philosophy? “Yes. To be still in the midst of chaos and to accept things as they are and enjoy life.”

Meet our team ...
  • Anathi Matutu

Meet our team ...

Newly graduate and self-motivator Anathi Matutu joined the AMS family as Junior Accountant in our Finance Department in February this year. Here’s a look into Anathi’s world …

Who is Anathi Matutu? “I am from a windy city called Port Elizabeth. I am the last born amongst three girls. I have recently completed my Bachelor of Commerce degree, majoring in Financial Accounting at the University of the Western Cape (UWC). I am also a hardworking young female who is self- motivated, determined and have a desire to succeed.”

Were you in any other trade before? “Previously, I was a student assistant at my varsity where I assisted students in leasing out prescribed textbooks.”

Why did you choose to join the AMS? “The first thing that caught my eye when searching the organisation was the humanitarian aspect, providing maximum service to the community which is what I believe and am passionate about - offering my service to the community.”

If you could master one skill you don’t have right now, what would it be? “Initiative. I am a person who likes to suggest from activities to creating a norm.”

What do you do in your spare time? “I read books, listen to music and casually bake with my friends.”

What might someone be surprised to know about you? “I am not reserved as I appear to be. Once I am used to the environment and someone I become more relaxed and engaging.”

What do you enjoy most about your job? “My job does not only focus on a particular aspect. Every day you learn something new, which is what I enjoy most about my job.”

What is on your bedside table? “Journal, tissue, scented candles and vaseline.”

If you could have dinner with five famous people from history, who would they be?

“Martin Luther King, Mother Teresa, Albert Einstein, Coco Chanel and Nelson Mandela.”

When your friends/family find out what you do, what do they say or ask? “They literally asked me about journal entries, balance sheet (if it did balance) and VAT because I used to tell them a lot when I was still a student.”

What has been the happiest day of your life? “Completing my degree and getting a job that is in line with what I studied.”

If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be? “An engineer.”

What is your greatest indulgence? “I cannot decide on one. But anything with sugar – cake, doughnut, chocolate, etc.”

What is the one thing, you can’t live without? “I cannot live without lipstick.”

What is the one quality you feel best describes you? “Punctual.”

Best piece of advice anyone ever gave you?  “Obstacles are the cost of greatness”

Do you have a life philosophy? “Yes. To be still in the midst of chaos and to accept things as they are and enjoy life.”

cyclist airlifted
  • cyclist airlifted
  • cyclist airlifted
  • cyclist airlifted

Cyclists airlifted in a critical condition

03 March 2020: The Western Cape Department of Health EMS/AMS rescue helicopter airlifted a cyclist in a serious condition from Simon's Town to Vincent Palotti. Images courtesy Rob de Wet.

Cyclists airlifted in a critical condition
  • cyclist airlifted
  • cyclist airlifted
  • cyclist airlifted

Cyclists airlifted in a critical condition

03 March 2020: The Western Cape Department of Health EMS/AMS rescue helicopter airlifted a cyclist in a serious condition from Simon's Town to Vincent Palotti. Images courtesy Rob de Wet.

Simoné Theunissen
  • Simoné Theunissen

Meet our team ...

Today we introduce Simoné Theunissen, newly appointed Emergency Care Practitioner (ECP) at our Oudtshoorn base. Simoné a true adventurist, has been with the organisation for approximately two months, here’s a look into her world ...

Who is Simoné Theunissen: “I was born in Krugersdorp, moved to George when I was nine and grew up on a farm. I completed my Bachelor of Emergency Medical Care (BEMC) degree at the Nelson Mandela University (NMU) in Port Elizabeth.”

Were you in any other trade before? “No.”

Why did you choose to join the AMS? It has been my dream to work at AMS since I started studying. I love the mountains, I have a keen interest in rescue and aviation medicine. I love flying and AMS provides me with the opportunity to combine all my passions.”

If you could master one skill you don’t have right now, what would it be? “To become an external load operator.”

What do you do in your spare time? “Rock climbing, mountain biking, hiking, kayaking, swimming and building puzzles.”

What might someone be surprised to know about you? “I am a sensitive viewer; I cry when watching sad movies.”

What do you enjoy most about your job? “Flying and doing rescues.”

What is on your bedside table? “My Bible, journal and lamp.”

If you could have dinner with five famous people from history, who would they be? “Jesus Christ, Edmund Hillary, Mother Teresa, Bare Grills and Dr Chris Barnard.”

When your friends/family find out what you do, what do they say or ask? “What is the worst thing you have seen thus far? I hate that question. The job is so much more than that!”

What has been the happiest day of your life? “When I assisted with my first mountain rescue on a hike near Formosa peak in 2017.”

If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be? “To become a wildlife veterinarian.”

What is your greatest indulgence? “Chocolate.”

What is the one thing, you can’t live without? “Exercise.”

What is the one quality you feel best describes you? “Determination.”

Best piece of advice anyone ever gave you? “My Grandma said; ń aanhouer wen!”

Do you have a life philosophy? “Life is short, so live it to the fullest!”

Meet our team ...
  • Simoné Theunissen

Meet our team ...

Today we introduce Simoné Theunissen, newly appointed Emergency Care Practitioner (ECP) at our Oudtshoorn base. Simoné a true adventurist, has been with the organisation for approximately two months, here’s a look into her world ...

Who is Simoné Theunissen: “I was born in Krugersdorp, moved to George when I was nine and grew up on a farm. I completed my Bachelor of Emergency Medical Care (BEMC) degree at the Nelson Mandela University (NMU) in Port Elizabeth.”

Were you in any other trade before? “No.”

Why did you choose to join the AMS? It has been my dream to work at AMS since I started studying. I love the mountains, I have a keen interest in rescue and aviation medicine. I love flying and AMS provides me with the opportunity to combine all my passions.”

If you could master one skill you don’t have right now, what would it be? “To become an external load operator.”

What do you do in your spare time? “Rock climbing, mountain biking, hiking, kayaking, swimming and building puzzles.”

What might someone be surprised to know about you? “I am a sensitive viewer; I cry when watching sad movies.”

What do you enjoy most about your job? “Flying and doing rescues.”

What is on your bedside table? “My Bible, journal and lamp.”

If you could have dinner with five famous people from history, who would they be? “Jesus Christ, Edmund Hillary, Mother Teresa, Bare Grills and Dr Chris Barnard.”

When your friends/family find out what you do, what do they say or ask? “What is the worst thing you have seen thus far? I hate that question. The job is so much more than that!”

What has been the happiest day of your life? “When I assisted with my first mountain rescue on a hike near Formosa peak in 2017.”

If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be? “To become a wildlife veterinarian.”

What is your greatest indulgence? “Chocolate.”

What is the one thing, you can’t live without? “Exercise.”

What is the one quality you feel best describes you? “Determination.”

Best piece of advice anyone ever gave you? “My Grandma said; ń aanhouer wen!”

Do you have a life philosophy? “Life is short, so live it to the fullest!”

Aviation for Healthcare Providers Course.

The SA Red Cross Air Mercy Service is proud to collaborate with experts from various healthcare fields and institutions to provide world class training in Cape Town, South Africa.
 
We are currently taking bookings for the Aviation for Healthcare Providers Course.
This five day course is an exciting mix of case-based learning, theoretical teaching and hands on practicals designed to equip paramedics, nurses and doctors to practice evidence based aviation medicine.
AHA Basic Life Support
AHA Advanced Cardiac Life Support
Introduction to Aviation Medicine (1 day)
Advanced Airway Management workshop
Ventilation Workshop
Critical Care Retrieval workshops
Recognition, Stabilization and transfer of the congenital cardiac child
Maternal Emergencies in transit
 
For all training enquiries please email: training@ams.org.za

 

Aviation for Healthcare Providers Course.

Aviation for Healthcare Providers Course.

The SA Red Cross Air Mercy Service is proud to collaborate with experts from various healthcare fields and institutions to provide world class training in Cape Town, South Africa.
 
We are currently taking bookings for the Aviation for Healthcare Providers Course.
This five day course is an exciting mix of case-based learning, theoretical teaching and hands on practicals designed to equip paramedics, nurses and doctors to practice evidence based aviation medicine.
AHA Basic Life Support
AHA Advanced Cardiac Life Support
Introduction to Aviation Medicine (1 day)
Advanced Airway Management workshop
Ventilation Workshop
Critical Care Retrieval workshops
Recognition, Stabilization and transfer of the congenital cardiac child
Maternal Emergencies in transit
 
For all training enquiries please email: training@ams.org.za

 

Voëlklip body recovered
  • Voëlklip body recovered
  • Voëlklip body recovered

Body recovered from Voëlklip viewpoint in Herolds Bay

29 January 2020: Sadly another life lost this morning at the Voëlklip viewpoint near Herold’s Bay. The Oudtshoorn Western Cape Department of Health EMS/AMS aero-medical rescue crew earlier recovered the body of a male patient after his vehicle plunged down the cliff. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of the deceased. Images courtesy Theo Schilder.

Body recovered from Voëlklip viewpoint in Herolds Bay
  • Voëlklip body recovered
  • Voëlklip body recovered

Body recovered from Voëlklip viewpoint in Herolds Bay

29 January 2020: Sadly another life lost this morning at the Voëlklip viewpoint near Herold’s Bay. The Oudtshoorn Western Cape Department of Health EMS/AMS aero-medical rescue crew earlier recovered the body of a male patient after his vehicle plunged down the cliff. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of the deceased. Images courtesy Theo Schilder.

KwaZulu-Natal Helicopter Emergency Medical Service
  • KwaZulu-Natal Helicopter Emergency Medical Service
  • KwaZulu-Natal Helicopter Emergency Medical Service
  • KwaZulu-Natal Helicopter Emergency Medical Service

Busy day for KZN Helicopter Emergency Medical Service

It's been a busy day and night for the KwaZulu-Natal helicopter emergency medical service. Mercy Wing 5 undertook three missions yesterday; two MVA's the first between Verulam & Phoenix, the second MVA was on the South Coast, the patient was airlifted to Ethekwini Hospital & Heart Centre. The crew was busy until the early hours of this morning with the third call, airlifting a patient from Hlabisa Provincial Hospital to St. Augustine's Hospital. Unfortunately due to the service being so busy a fourth mission could not be serviced. The Night Vision Systems introduced into the helicopter operation allows the AMS to ensure that the community has access to the helicopter 24 hours a day. AMS committed to building and developing the South African health system! Images courtesy: Captains Kim Watchurst & Rob Fenega

Busy day for KZN Helicopter Emergency Medical Service
  • KwaZulu-Natal Helicopter Emergency Medical Service
  • KwaZulu-Natal Helicopter Emergency Medical Service
  • KwaZulu-Natal Helicopter Emergency Medical Service

Busy day for KZN Helicopter Emergency Medical Service

It's been a busy day and night for the KwaZulu-Natal helicopter emergency medical service. Mercy Wing 5 undertook three missions yesterday; two MVA's the first between Verulam & Phoenix, the second MVA was on the South Coast, the patient was airlifted to Ethekwini Hospital & Heart Centre. The crew was busy until the early hours of this morning with the third call, airlifting a patient from Hlabisa Provincial Hospital to St. Augustine's Hospital. Unfortunately due to the service being so busy a fourth mission could not be serviced. The Night Vision Systems introduced into the helicopter operation allows the AMS to ensure that the community has access to the helicopter 24 hours a day. AMS committed to building and developing the South African health system! Images courtesy: Captains Kim Watchurst & Rob Fenega

Helicopter service available in KwaZulu-Natal
  • Helicopter service available in KwaZulu-Natal
  • Helicopter service available in KwaZulu-Natal
  • Helicopter service available in KwaZulu-Natal

Mercy Wing 5 dispatched to the South Coast

Air Mercy Service Mercy Wing 5 dispatched to the South Coast to airlift a stroke victim to Lenmed Ethekwini Hospital. Doctor and Emergency Care Practitioner (ECP) crew on-board. Time is of the essence. AMS Changing lives, saving lives!

Mercy Wing 5 dispatched to the South Coast
  • Helicopter service available in KwaZulu-Natal
  • Helicopter service available in KwaZulu-Natal
  • Helicopter service available in KwaZulu-Natal

Mercy Wing 5 dispatched to the South Coast

Air Mercy Service Mercy Wing 5 dispatched to the South Coast to airlift a stroke victim to Lenmed Ethekwini Hospital. Doctor and Emergency Care Practitioner (ECP) crew on-board. Time is of the essence. AMS Changing lives, saving lives!

Helicopter service available in KwaZulu-Natal
  • Helicopter service available in KwaZulu-Natal

Helicopter Emergeny Service (HEMS) available in KwaZulu-Natal

Helicopter Emergency Service (HEMS) now available in KwaZulu-Natal.

Contact 0861 267 267

e-mail: noc@ams.org.za

www.ams.org.za

 

Helicopter Emergeny Service (HEMS) available in KwaZulu-Natal
  • Helicopter service available in KwaZulu-Natal

Helicopter Emergeny Service (HEMS) available in KwaZulu-Natal

Helicopter Emergency Service (HEMS) now available in KwaZulu-Natal.

Contact 0861 267 267

e-mail: noc@ams.org.za

www.ams.org.za

 

WorldSightDay
  • WorldSightDay
  • WorldSightDay
  • WorldSightDay

Cataract Surgery Programme kicks off in KwaZulu-Natal

AMS is proud to be associated with the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health and the Al-Imdaad Foundation. It has been more than two years in planning and preparation, but finally it has arrived. A three-month long cataract surgery programme brought about by a partnership between the Al-Imdaad Foundation, the KZN Department of Health, Air Mercy Services and volunteer doctors from Turkish NGO, Alliance of International Doctors (AID). The cataract programme is part of the Al-Imdaad Foundation's Vision-4-Life eye care initiative which also includes a free eye clinic, which has seen over 2000 patients in two years of operation.
On October 7th, 2019, the volunteer doctors were flown into the cataract programme briefing session at the Ladysmith Provincial Hospital by Air Mercy Personnel.
At the briefing, Al-Imdaad Foundation’s special projects coordinator, Mr Abed Karrim described the build up to the programme saying, “For two and a half years my team and I have been in and out of Pretoria to secure accreditation for the foreign doctors from the Health Professionals Council of South Africa (HPCSA). We’ve had a lot of cooperation from Health Departments at all levels and finally the team is able to be here today”.
Mr Karrim went on to say that their mission was simple: “We are here to join hands to enable Vision-4-Life, this is the vision of the leadership of the Al-Imdaad Foundation- our Chairman Maulana Chohan and our trustees. They have said to us, go out there, work hand in hand with the Department of Health, work hand in hand for the community.”
Areas have been identified where there are significant backlogs of patients awaiting cataract surgeries. Public eye facilities at hospitals in Northern Natal will be used for the programme and local support staff and nurses will assist the Turkish team.
Dr T Zulu, an official from uThukela District Health described how the volunteer doctors would be greatly appreciated as some districts had significant backlogs due to a lack of personnel. Dr Zulu also said, “completing back-logs is not just about numbers. It is a quality of life issue and a human rights issue. If there is a two thousand backlog you know how you would feel if there’s a cataract and there are no operations until you are blind. So, we are very happy that we finally have these volunteers to assist us.”
The doctors from Alliance of International Doctors (AID) have had extensive experience conducting cataract surgeries in sub- Saharan Africa. The lead ophthalmic surgeon, Dr Mehmet Aslan previously spent eight months in Niger where he completed thousands of surgeries. During his three-month stay in South Africa, Dr Mehmet aims to make a significant impact on the backlogs.
Dr Mehmet said, “We were all excited to join. This project is quite prestigious for us. So, if we can accomplish this, I can assure you that there are many more volunteer doctors willing to come whenever you want. We are ready to perform the surgeries.”
After thanking all role players, Al-Imdaad Foundation CEO Yacoob Vahed also spoke encouraging words saying:
“I would like to thank everyone who made this significant project possible. Even though there has been a lot of negativity around our beautiful country recently, I believe by working together we can make a real difference. For us this is only the beginning, we hope to be able to bring in more volunteer doctors- both locals and from abroad, to help take this project to other parts of the country.”
The Al-Imdaad Foundation’s Vision-4-Life cataract programme will be running in the last quarter of 2019 with surgeries planned in the uThukela, iLembe and uMzinyathi districts of KwaZulu-Natal. For more information about the programme or to support these initiatives please call 0861786243.

Cataract Surgery Programme kicks off in KwaZulu-Natal
  • WorldSightDay
  • WorldSightDay
  • WorldSightDay

Cataract Surgery Programme kicks off in KwaZulu-Natal

AMS is proud to be associated with the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health and the Al-Imdaad Foundation. It has been more than two years in planning and preparation, but finally it has arrived. A three-month long cataract surgery programme brought about by a partnership between the Al-Imdaad Foundation, the KZN Department of Health, Air Mercy Services and volunteer doctors from Turkish NGO, Alliance of International Doctors (AID). The cataract programme is part of the Al-Imdaad Foundation's Vision-4-Life eye care initiative which also includes a free eye clinic, which has seen over 2000 patients in two years of operation.
On October 7th, 2019, the volunteer doctors were flown into the cataract programme briefing session at the Ladysmith Provincial Hospital by Air Mercy Personnel.
At the briefing, Al-Imdaad Foundation’s special projects coordinator, Mr Abed Karrim described the build up to the programme saying, “For two and a half years my team and I have been in and out of Pretoria to secure accreditation for the foreign doctors from the Health Professionals Council of South Africa (HPCSA). We’ve had a lot of cooperation from Health Departments at all levels and finally the team is able to be here today”.
Mr Karrim went on to say that their mission was simple: “We are here to join hands to enable Vision-4-Life, this is the vision of the leadership of the Al-Imdaad Foundation- our Chairman Maulana Chohan and our trustees. They have said to us, go out there, work hand in hand with the Department of Health, work hand in hand for the community.”
Areas have been identified where there are significant backlogs of patients awaiting cataract surgeries. Public eye facilities at hospitals in Northern Natal will be used for the programme and local support staff and nurses will assist the Turkish team.
Dr T Zulu, an official from uThukela District Health described how the volunteer doctors would be greatly appreciated as some districts had significant backlogs due to a lack of personnel. Dr Zulu also said, “completing back-logs is not just about numbers. It is a quality of life issue and a human rights issue. If there is a two thousand backlog you know how you would feel if there’s a cataract and there are no operations until you are blind. So, we are very happy that we finally have these volunteers to assist us.”
The doctors from Alliance of International Doctors (AID) have had extensive experience conducting cataract surgeries in sub- Saharan Africa. The lead ophthalmic surgeon, Dr Mehmet Aslan previously spent eight months in Niger where he completed thousands of surgeries. During his three-month stay in South Africa, Dr Mehmet aims to make a significant impact on the backlogs.
Dr Mehmet said, “We were all excited to join. This project is quite prestigious for us. So, if we can accomplish this, I can assure you that there are many more volunteer doctors willing to come whenever you want. We are ready to perform the surgeries.”
After thanking all role players, Al-Imdaad Foundation CEO Yacoob Vahed also spoke encouraging words saying:
“I would like to thank everyone who made this significant project possible. Even though there has been a lot of negativity around our beautiful country recently, I believe by working together we can make a real difference. For us this is only the beginning, we hope to be able to bring in more volunteer doctors- both locals and from abroad, to help take this project to other parts of the country.”
The Al-Imdaad Foundation’s Vision-4-Life cataract programme will be running in the last quarter of 2019 with surgeries planned in the uThukela, iLembe and uMzinyathi districts of KwaZulu-Natal. For more information about the programme or to support these initiatives please call 0861786243.

Table Mountain Rescue
  • Table Mountain Rescue
  • Table Mountain Rescue
  • Table Mountain Rescue
  • Table Mountain Rescue

Busy rescue weekend for Cape Town rescue crew

It's been a busy weekend for the Cape Town Western Cape Department of Health EMS/AMS rescue helicopter. 6 rescues took place over the busy weekend, rescues were conducted in Kirstenbosch, on Lions Head and Skeleton Gorge. Thank you to our rescue crew and partner organisations for your dedication. Well done Shukri Petersen on your first rescues as external load operator (elo). Thank you Dr. Matthew Young, Anwaaz Bent and all the individuals for sharing your photographs with us.

Busy rescue weekend for Cape Town rescue crew
  • Table Mountain Rescue
  • Table Mountain Rescue
  • Table Mountain Rescue
  • Table Mountain Rescue

Busy rescue weekend for Cape Town rescue crew

It's been a busy weekend for the Cape Town Western Cape Department of Health EMS/AMS rescue helicopter. 6 rescues took place over the busy weekend, rescues were conducted in Kirstenbosch, on Lions Head and Skeleton Gorge. Thank you to our rescue crew and partner organisations for your dedication. Well done Shukri Petersen on your first rescues as external load operator (elo). Thank you Dr. Matthew Young, Anwaaz Bent and all the individuals for sharing your photographs with us.