Emergencies and evacuation

Posted by | September 15, 2014 | health information | No Comments
Emergencies and evacuation
The IST Clinic can assist in medical emergency situations as well as medical evacuations.For emergency transport and ambulance services the IST Clinic works closely with Knight Support Paramedic Ambulances Service, based in Dar es Salaam and Arusha.

In case you are being transported by a Knight Support ambulance during an emergency please inform the paramedic staff that you are a member of the IST Clinic. They can then inform the doctor on call of the IST Clinic. In case your condition can initially be managed at the IST Clinic, the ambulance can transport you directly to the IST Clinic.

If your condition requires x-rays, scans or an intensive care admission, the medical staff will decide to send you to the Aga Khan Hospital or another hospital and the IST doctor on call can follow-up on your diagnostic evaluation and treatment until such time as you are either discharged, transferred to the IST Clinic or transported to another country through a medivac procedure.

As advanced medical life support facilities in Tanzania are limited, patients are often flown to Nairobi or South Africa. For these flights the IST Clinic makes use primarily of  AMREF Flying Doctors services. Occasionally other medical air rescue services are used, depending on the destination and the arrangements made by the patients’ medical evacuation insurance company.

The following text provides information on these service providers and  the emergency contact number are listed.



Knight Support operates several advanced life support ambulances and medical first responder units throughout the Dar es Salaam area and Arusha.  Each ambulance is crewed by highly trained Paramedics and carrying advanced life support equipment including intubation, defibrillator, oxygen and a range of drugs.  The responder units carry resuscitation equipment, oxygen, trauma kit and AED defibrillator.

With the back up of the Knight Support Fire & Rescue Service and the training received the crews are able to attend nearly any emergency to help save lives – from road accidents using equipment such as jaws of life through to reciprocating saws or inflatable splints though to cervical spine management equipment, the ambulances are there to attend emergency medical incidents.

The Service is well known for the arranging of casualty evacuation by air within Tanzania or to any medical facility worldwide and currently undertakes an average of 5 per week.

So whether you need an emergency ambulance, casualty evacuation worldwide or some first aid training, please make contact with us





Emergency Ambulance – 0748 555911 or 0744 777100

Casualty Evacuation within Tanzania or from Tanzania to a medical facility worldwide 0744 777071 or 0744 777073




The IST Clinic is able to use the Flying Doctor Service operated by AMREF (African Medical Research Foundation) for emergency evacuation by air ambulance. When in Dar es Salaam, the IST Clinic can assist in the evacuation, whereby the Knight Support Ambulance services are utilized for ground transport and communication with AMREF.

The following notes are especially relevant if you are living upcountry or during trips into the interior of Tanzania.

In the event of an Emergency/Accident

  • Patient critical ill – immediate evacuation necessary
    If the patient is critically ill and the situation warrants an immediate evacuation or a flight is requested by a physician for serious medical reasons, phone AMREF  (Flying Doctor Service) directly if possible as they must speak to the doctor responsible for the patient. Then phone the IST doctor to inform them fully.  The IST Clinic could phone AMREF for you, but remember in every case they will ask to speak directly to the physician who is treating the patient, so this may delay things further. If phones are not working radio contact may be possible through Mission Hospitals. If AMREF cannot be contacted try Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF), who also may also assist with medical evacuations.  (Note: MAF planes do not have medical staff on board.)
  • Patient seriously ill
    If the person is not critically ill, but needs to be moved for further treatment then phone the IST Clinic for advice and assistance.



How to deal with a medical evacuation

You should ascertain in advance the means by which you could contact AMREF in Nairobi.  If this is not possible by phone, mission hospitals and missions are sometimes linked by radio and the police operate a radio network. It is far better to know these things in advance than to have to try and find them out after an accident. You should also be aware of landing strips and airports in the area you are staying or visiting.

  1. AMREF must be contacted directly and the qualified medical person who has examined the patient should be available to talk to the radio-room staff in Nairobi.
  2. AMREF will only dispatch an aircraft from Nairobi if they have information about the landing site: a) airport in regular use – should be no problem; b) a grass strip – they will need to know the weather, if it has rained in the previous 24 hours, and may ask that a vehicle drives up and down the strip, so that the pilot can see unbroken tracks (i.e. so that the strip is seen to be free from rocks, tree stumps, boggy patches etc.). If the airstrip is in an area not previously used by AMREF, a landing permit may need to be obtained.  To do this, the local Police should be contacted and through them the nearest commercial (i.e. to which Air Tanzania flies) airport contacted.  AMREF will contact the Directorate of Civil Aviation in Dar es Salaam who will then telex the closest airport with the landing permit.
  3. If the volunteer is subject to visa restrictions for entry into Kenya, AMREF must be made aware of this, otherwise it might delay immigration clearance at Wilson Airport. The patient should be in possession of a passport and valid Yellow Fever Certificate.
  4. It must be stressed that AMREF do not dispatch an aircraft in response to all requests.  They may on occasion feel that advice to the medical personnel with the patient is sufficient, or may be unable to fly because of weather, unsuitable landing strip, etc.
  5. It takes the crew 20 minutes from the evacuation to take-off.  They have their own ground ambulance to meet the plane and take the patient to the hospital, where they will have reserved a bed prior to the flight.
  6. Below is a list of the Government and Mission Hospitals in Tanzania where AMREF surgical and plastic surgeon teams operate.  The hospitals are equipped with radio networks and can communicate with the AMREF medical personnel in Nairobi.
Bukumbi Mission Hospital (Mwanza) Kigoma Govt Hospital (Kigoma)
Kabanga Mission Hospital (Kasulu) Kiomboi Govt Hospital (Singida)
Loliondo Mission Hospital Kolandoto Govt Hospital
Makiungu Mission Hospital (Singida) Muganza Govt Hospital
Mwanza Mission Hospital Nzega Govt Hospital
Ndanda Mission Hospital Dareda Mission Hospital (Manyara)
Rubya Mission Hospital Turiani Hospital ( Morogoro)
Mikumi Health Centre
KCMC Hospital in Moshi is a specialist centre and can communicate with AMREF between 8am and 4pm over the radio.

Emergency telephone Nairobi  + 254 (0) 20 600 090 / 552  ( Ext 205)
+ 254 (0) 20 600833, 602492
+ 254 (0) 733 628420

These are direct emergency lines to the radio room, operated 24 hours a day by medical personnel.

AMREF others:
Nairobi Fax   + 254 (0) 336 886

Mission Aviation Fellowship is primarily a carriage service for non-Catholic and Anglican Missions and mission hospitals. However it does have a fleet of planes which will transport people who require medical treatment, plus one fully equipped ambulance plane complete with doctor which flies out of Dodoma. They will fly patients either to Tanzanian hospitals which have the required facilities or to Nairobi.

MAF have some advantages over AMREF:

  • They have permission to land in Zanzibar and Pemba, while AMREF must seek this before landing.
  • They may be closer to the scene of emergency as they are centrally located in Dodoma
  • MAF will also assist in non-critical cases by providing transport where AMREF might not.

Dar es Salaam 2131409 or 2112626
Dar es Salaam 0742 765035
Dodoma 2352810/16  or  2354701 Mon – Fri 08.00-17.00
Dodoma 0744 308440 out of hours (Emergency)
Moshi  027 2754218
Mwanza  028 2503190/2500170
Kasulu   028 2802704

Radio links with MAF are possible through many Mission Hospitals with radio call facilities.

Contact us 0718 783393, 0746 499411, 0688 783391, 0784 783393 and 0684 7833920