ZimbabweHuchi Business Zimbabwe Medical Air Rescue Ambulance Helicopter Service: Profile, History, Notable Rescues, Garry Mapanzure

Zimbabwe Medical Air Rescue Ambulance Helicopter Service: Profile, History, Notable Rescues, Garry Mapanzure

Zimbabwe Medical Air Rescue Ambulance Helicopter Service: Profile, History, Notable Rescues, Garry Mapanzure post thumbnail image

The Zimbabwe Air Ambulance Service plays a pivotal role in the nation’s healthcare system, providing crucial emergency medical transportation services.

Established in partnership with the Russian Helicopters Holding Company, a subsidiary of Rostec State Corporation, this service has significantly enhanced healthcare accessibility in Zimbabwe, saving lives in critical situations.

History and Development

In May 2023, Zimbabwe received a batch of 18 Ansat helicopters from the Russian Helicopters Holding Company, marking the launch of the country’s modern air ambulance fleet. These versatile helicopters, produced at the Kazan Helicopter Plant, form the backbone of the air ambulance service, providing swift transportation to those in remote areas.

This achievement followed an active cooperation that began in 2022, resulting in contracts for the supply of helicopters for various national agencies in Zimbabwe, including civil-purpose Mi-17 and Ansat helicopters.

During the handover ceremony in Harare, Sergey Chemezov, the Director General of Rostec State Corporation, emphasized the primary purpose of these helicopters: rescuing patients in remote and inaccessible areas. Each helicopter is equipped with comprehensive medical facilities for resuscitation and emergency care.

Notable Rescues

One of the most prominent instances showcasing the importance of the Zimbabwe Air Ambulance Service occurred in July 2023. A 54-year-old road traffic accident victim in Bindura was swiftly airlifted to Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals in Harare using one of the Ansat medical helicopters provided by the Russian Helicopters Holding Company. This operation highlighted the service’s effectiveness in transporting patients with injuries to receive prompt and specialized medical care.

A Missed Opportunity for Musician Garry Mapanzure

In October 2023, Afro Pop musician Garry Mapanzure was involved in a devastating car accident, requiring urgent medical attention. Despite the potential for an air ambulance to reach him quickly, financial constraints led to a tragic outcome. Mars Zimbabwe, the ambulance service, reportedly demanded a substantial upfront payment of US$2.9k to transport him from Masvingo to Harare.

The delay in immediate medical care and transport resulted in Garry Mapanzure’s untimely passing, underscoring the critical role of well-funded and accessible air ambulance services in saving lives.

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