"Iqarus supports the largest UN peacekeeping mission globally, at various levels, including an aeromedical team that is ‘forward-located’ and able to rapidly evacuate injured staff to a local surgical facility, or to other definitive care locations in Africa." Dai Jones, Director of Operations, Global Health Services, Iqarus.

Background

The United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) is one of the largest UN peacekeeping missions globally, with 12,000 military personnel and over 3,000 police and civilian staff stationed across Mali.

Due to poor road infrastructure, and security risks, the movement of casualties to receive definitive care and/or surgical intervention is limited to air travel, which in itself can mean a journey of many hours. A situation which significantly affects patient outcomes.

To mitigate this time challenge, the UN developed a system of AMET teams who would be ‘forward-located’ on missions, and able to provide advanced resuscitation and aeromedical capability in a timely manner, and according to best practice standards of care.

Iqarus has amassed a wealth of operational and clinical experience to offer a professional solution for such complex and challenging projects. The ability to provide this service, professionally, is key to enabling and supporting the UN’s peacekeeping mission in Mali.

Challenges

Key challenges faced by Iqarus in support of the UN’s mission in Mali were:

  • To build two distinct AMET teams which would be able to work a) in challenging and difficult environments, b) provide a high standard of clinical care for prolonged durations as part of a multi-cultural team, day or night, on multiple trauma patients, c) converse in French and English.
  • To mobilise two complete specialist AMET equipment sets within 30 days, in-country, with full customs clearances while ensuring the equipment was fit for role, on various airframes.

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  • To integrate our team into the UN medical team, under the leadership of the UN Chief Medical Officer, in order to deliver a seamless clinical solution.
  • However, with the quick proactive engagement by the deployed senior management team and the proactive relationship from the UN medical team, particularly the CMO, it was one of the easiest integration plans to enact.

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Solutions

Iqarus provided the following solutions to deliver the project on time and on budget:

  • Having registered as a branch office in Mali, with a dedicated Country Operations Manager, supporting the AMET teams across the country provided much needed operational support and liaison with the Client.
  • Delivery of a full PHTLS and ACLS induction programme for each team. This helped rapidly cement team dynamics and supported the identification of Team Leaders.
  • Provided full equipment commissioning and integration into supporting airframes.
  • Facilitated regular rotations as well as continuous education packages for our personnel. The development of career pathways enables Iqarus to leverage a diverse set of skills within the teams. This is aligned with the UN’s own demographics and provides clinical and cultural support for our patients.

Outcome

With the support of the UN medical logistics team, Iqarus was able to provide a complete operational capability within the contractual requirements of 27 days.

This included a full supply chain solution, run by our medical procurement team in the UK, utilising local, regional and international procurement chains. This ensures continuity of services through the project’s lifecycle.

Within one month of deployment, Iqarus had dealt with a major incident in support of the national emergency services. We also provided much needed clinical interventions to the UN and wider MINUSMA population, establishing the AMET teams as a positive mission-enabler in Mali.

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Iqarus’s AMET teams continue to provide advanced clinical interaction for patients on a daily basis, forward of the main UN hubs, as well as to the UN Chief Medical Officer.

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