Friday, June 26, 2009

Emergency? Dial 9-1-Camel

When someone is seriously injured here in the US, they’re whisked away in a fast-moving ambulance. But try to drive that ambulance in a rural desert with no roads, and you’ve got yourself a problem. To solve this predicament, the UNDP in Ethiopia is turning camels into emergency transport vehicles.

Ok, so they don’t have sirens or flashing lights. But these humped, spitting beasts of burden are ideally suited to transport seriously ill patients across the deserts of rural Ethiopia to hospitals. The UNDP has also trained men and women in basic healthcare to ride along with the camels, and these doctor-camel teams are working as primary and emergency health providers for around 140,000 rural residents.

So, the next time you fall and you can’t get up, you might want to consider calling a camel.