MAF Madagascar Pilot and Ops manager Ryan Unger shared this account of a recent flight for our partners at the Good News Hospital (HVM).
When relaxing time for the team turned into a serious medical situation for one of the children, MAF’s assistance was required; we were very happy to be able to help.
‘We received a call from Ted Watts, one of the surgeons in Mandritsara. During a team meal at a local restaurant, his 4-year old son, Jamie, had been bitten by an aggressive captive lemur – twice! A unique feature of life in Madagascar, captive lemurs are often used to attract visitors to a hotel or restaurant. Thankfully, Jamie had already received the rabies vaccine, but was still in need of a booster as soon as possible.
‘The rabies vaccine is provided for free in Madagascar, courtesy of the Institute Pasteur, and would normally have been available in Mandritsara. Unfortunately, for various reasons the Watts could not arrange to receive the vaccine from the local provider and so needed to make a trip to Tana – either 30 hours by road, or 90 minutes by MAF plane. Our 182 was already booked the next day to fly a pastor to the official inauguration at his new post, but the Caravan and pilot Ian Purdey were available early the next morning to go and pick up Jamie, along with his Mom and older brother.
‘Being a Sunday, the Institute Pasteur in Tana was only open until 11:00 in the morning which meant no flexibility for weather delays, Tana city traffic, or any other unforeseen circumstances! All went smoothly, and at 11:42 we received this text from Ted – “Perfect timing – thanks MAF. Jamie got his shot – he was the last patient before they shut today.”’