Ola Orekunrin was born in London, England and grew up under the tutelage of her parents in Lowestoft. Her name “Ola” translates to “riches” in Yoruba land.
Ola attended and graduated from Hull York Medical School at the ripe age of 21, going on to become one of the youngest medical doctors in the United Kingdom.
Post graduation, Ola worked for a decade with the National Health Service, United Kingdom. As a helicopter pilot with certified training in aviation medicine, she started the first air operated Emergency medical services in Lagos, Nigeria, Flying Doctors Nigeria Ltd.
Ola was pushed to start this charity organization after going through the pain of losing her sister under tragic circumstances and to bring an improvement to the state of healthcare in Nigeria.
Despite the challenges she went through at the initial stage, she incorporated and established the Flying Doctors in Nigeria in 2007, and she started as the CEO.
Orekunrin is a member of a lot of related organizations, part of which is the American Academy of Aesthetic Surgeons and the British Medical Association. She was picked among Young Global leaders by World Economic Forum in 2013.
Orekunrin is also a prolific speaker on matters relating to entrepreneurship, innovation, and healthcare. She speaks entrepreneurship also at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Flying Doctor helicopters
At present, Flying doctors has grown and has a fleet of twenty aircraft and more than forty doctors readily available that can offer the best care to patients before getting to the hospital.
The company also outsources its services to significant events in Nigeria as well as providing health insurance to wealthy and influential firms and families in the country. Ola has a belief that improvement in healthcare delivery in the country will not come from the government alone, but as a result of synergy between the government, entrepreneurs, and private investors.
As a result of her unwavering resolve and creativity to offer problems to one of Nigeria’s major problems, Ola Orekunrin has won a lot of awards and gained a lot of recognition for her sterling role.
She was given the This Day Awards (Contribution to Health in Africa) in 2012, and she also won the Future Award as ‘Entrepreneur of the year in 2012.
She got the 2013 NewsDirect Awards as ‘Outstanding Female CEO of the Year 2013.
In February 2018 she was honored with the “Extraordinary Business Achievement Award” at the Silverbird Group’s annual award held in Lagos, thereby becoming the youngest person ever to win the prestigious award at the age of 30 and the only woman in the last ten years.
She has continued to develop Flying Doctors, and she said she is thriving to bring affordable and world-class health care service delivery to the remotest of places in Nigeria.
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