In war-torn Somalia where volunteers are hard to come by, one man stands tall.In Somalia, health care is in disarray making proper treatment of tragedy victims a tall order.
Fortunately, Dr Abdulkadir Abdirahman Adan is giving hope to those in need by offering free, 24-hour ambulance service and ensuring people get better medical care.
Dr Adan quit a well-paying job in Pakistan to set up Aamin Ambulance that is operating in the capital Mogadishu.
The deplorable state of the health industry nudged the trained dentist to ameliorate the situation.
There are few ambulances to transport casualties to hospitals.
“When I came back to the country, there was a war going on and people were using wheelbarrows to get patients to hospitals.
“It led to deaths on the way to hospitals, the persons carrying the patient would be tired. That motivated me to respond and set up Aamin Ambulance Service. It has helped to stop deaths,” Dr Adan said, adding that many lack the skill to perform first aid.
With little resources he had, he set up the company that is now 10 years old
“I shed tears, it hurt me to see my own countrymen suffering. I was not going to run away. I had to do something.
“I put all my savings and bought a second hand van for a start. We slowly grew and today I am proud of where we have reached though I know we can grow even bigger and offer better services.
“If I place ‘I’ before the word Aamin, it becomes ‘trust me’,” he explained.
He added that settling on the name has endeared him to the people, who are not used to having volunteers.
The company has recorded significant growth, boasting of a team of 35 nurses, paramedics, drivers, along with a fleet of 10 vehicles.
He said he has plans of expanding it to other regions.
One of the agency that has contributed to his humanitarian endeavours is the United Nations Development Programme, which donated walkie-talkies.
The portable radios have enabled his staff work better during emergencies.
“When there is an emergency, everyone tries to make a telephone call and there is a jam on the telephone networks.
“But the walkie-talkies will make a difference. They will simplify communication among us, coordination among ambulances and collaboration with hospitals.”
Regarding the October 14 truck bomb in Mogadishu that killed more than 300 people, he described it as the ‘worst attack’.
He staff, he said, were very instrumental in stanching further deaths.
“It was an explosion that traumatized us. I cannot count how many trips we managed to make but I can only thank our staff, they gave their all and managed to save many lives.”
And he believes that with assistance from well-wishers, more citizens will benefit from the services his company provides.
“My dream is to reach every district, every village in the regions to serve people.
“But all I can ask is the government to come and assist by setting up a station park for the ambulances where they can also be repaired,” Dr Adan said.