A medical evacuation (often shortened to “medevac”) is the evacuation of a sick or injured person from precarious or difficult to reach areas. According to Wikipedia, the first medical transport by air was recorded in Serbia in 1915 during the First World War. Today, more than 100 years later, Helimission (since 1971) carries out medevacs on a regular basis in countries where no other assistance is available for the patients.
Often a messenger runs from a remote area to the nearest station with a radio to ask Helimission to come with the helicopter. Usually, the patient is flown to the nearest hospital where they receive the help they need. In many cases, after treatment and recovery, the patient can make their own way home. If this is not the case, the patient is flown back to their village with the helicopter where they receive a warm welcome. In Papua, Indonesia, where technical progress is not very advanced, a flight with this “strange bird” is a test of courage for the local people. In the rough terrain of Madagascar and Indonesia, transport by road would take too long, be too arduous and often too dangerous, so that the patient would not survive the exertion. This way Helimission has been able to save many lives over the years.