Dr. Ola opens up on sister's death, starting ‘Flying Doctors'

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Ola Orekunrin Brown, Founder, Flying Doctors Nigeria.

Ola Orekunrin Brown, Founder, Flying Doctors Nigeria.

By Funmilola Olukomaiya

Ola Orekunrin Brown was studying to become a doctor in the UK a couple of
years ago when her younger sister fell seriously ill while traveling in

The 12-year-old girl, who had been living with Sickle Cell Anemia, had visited the country on holiday with relatives.

During the visit, she needed urgent care but the nearest hospital couldn’t deal with her condition.

They looked for an air ambulance service that could quickly transport her ailing sister to a suitable hospital, but found none. Due to inability to get her to a hospital on time, she died.

Ola was devastated. But ultimately, this tragedy inspired her to forfeit a
promising medical career in the UK, so she could create an innovative service in Nigeria that would help save lives.

Dr. Ola is an entrepreneur, medical doctor, trainee pilot, and founder of
Flying Doctors Nigeria, West Africa’s first indigenous air ambulance service.

The venture combines her desire for improved healthcare in Africa and her passion for flying.

She tells show host, Seyi Banigbe, about her career trajectory.

Flying Doctors Nigeria is now a multi-million dollar entity that has been in operation for over ten years and now has a staff strength of over 50 people.

She’s an author and also an international speaker whose been featured at the TED Global Conference,
European Union, Swiss Economic Forum, UN, the World Bank and many other institutions.

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