Medical and Evacuation Procedures

These evacuation procedures were last updated on the 21st of December 2016.
If you’d like to download a full copy of our Medical and Evacuation Procedures please click here

Having a Medical and Evacuation Procedure for our programs is not only good practice and safe, but also a necessity for Love The Oceans to abide by BSI Standards. Love The Oceans prides itself on a clean health and safety record and although medical emergencies are unlikely and we hopefully won’t need the procedure, it is important to have one in place.

  1. MEDICAL SCREENING

All participants are required to declare any allergies or medical conditions (including mental and behavioural) on their application form when applying for a volunteer position. The data is stored securely. All medical forms are assessed by Love The Oceans. The Venture Leader may seek to contact the participant should they need further information.

  1. PADI

All participants diving during the expedition will also be required to complete a PADI (Professional Association of Dive Instructors) medical questionnaire on site. Please ensure you know your doctor’s details in case we need to contact them. Volunteers who have answered ‘yes’ to any of the questions contained within the PADI medical questionnaire abilities (e.g asthma) will need to bring a medical note from your doctor assuring you are fit to dive. You will not be allowed to dive unless this medical note is received by either Love The Oceans or Guinjata Dive Centre.

  1. ROLES IN THE EVENT OF AN EMERGENCY

Carefully planned evacuation protocols are in place for our site in Mozambique. These protocols are well understood by all Love The Oceans’ staff working on site in the event that a medical evacuation should be necessary.

Due to the variable nature of potential injuries and other limiting factors (such as the availability of local medical help) a number of different evacuation scenarios must be prepared for prior to the expedition commencing. All staff are fully briefed in these scenarios, with this report describing the most likely evacuation options.

Once a serious medical incident is identified, the Site Manager or Love The Oceans’ Senior Management (if present) will take control as the Incident Coordinator coordinating the evacuation up until the point there has been a full hand-over of the patient to the medical unit. The Site Manager and Senior Management will decide upon the level of evacuation required for the patient in consultation with Love The Oceans’ Board of Directors and Medical Officer. Evacuations are classified as Medium Priority, High Priority or Emergency.

Medium Priority

Cases defined by the patient being in no immediate danger but Guinjata’s local clinic are considered to be unable to cope with the patient’s existing condition and that without seeking further medical attention the patient’s condition is likely to deteriorate. Such a scenario requires the patient to be moved as quickly as possible, usually without the need to hire special vehicles or boats, to the nearest appropriate medical facility. Typically a Medium Priority evacuation would see a patient evacuated to the Inhambane Hospital in central Inhambane City.

High Priority

Cases where the patient’s health and wellbeing is at risk if immediate action is not taken. An example of this may be a broken bone. This normally requires transport of the volunteer to central Inhambane Hospital or Maputo main hospital depending on the severity.

Emergency

Cases where the patient’s life is deemed to be at risk if immediate action is not taken. This requires the fastest possible route and will almost certainly require the use of charter vehicles and boats and may also include the use of a chartered plane should it be considered necessary and possible. Emergency Evacuation may be to Inhambane Hospital, Central Maputo Hospital or to a Hospital in South Africa depending on the severity and the treatment required. In the event that the emergency is at night, only transport by car or boat can be used as planes cannot land or leave the Inhambane airport at night. The patient will be driven down to Maputo where upon they will either be admitted to the hospital there or airlifted to South Africa.

In all medical cases where a patient is being transferred to medical facilities they will be accompanied by a relevant member of Love The Oceans’ staff, or someone appointed by Love The Oceans’ staff as fit to accompany the patient.

It is the responsibility of the Site Manager in conjunction with Love The Oceans’ Senior Management to determine if an evacuation is required, the level of evacuation, as well as to ensure the patient is stabilized and properly prepared prior to evacuation commencing.  The Site Manager, in conjunction with the Field Specialist and Senior LTO Management will discuss and agree as to the nature of the evacuation (destination, medical assistance being sort) as early as possible in the evacuation process.

It is the volunteers’ responsibility to purchase their own medical and evacuation insurance cover in the unlikely event that an evacuation from site should be required. Volunteers must submit a copy of their insurance (and associated emergency numbers) to Love The Oceans before the expedition start date so in the event of an evacuation the Site Manager can contact the designated support line as well as informing them of the need for an evacuation, the condition of the patient and planned route of evacuation. Maintaining good lines of communication between Love The Oceans Medical Officer, Site Manager and Medical Assistance is critical to ensuring a successful evacuation.

All senior staff involved in a major accident or emergency procedure should keep detailed notes of times, actions taken, communications and costs incurred. After the incident has been closed it is the responsibility of the Site Manager in conjunction with the Medical Officer to compile a detailed report of the incident and medical procedures followed.

  1. MEDICAL FACILITIES IN COUNTRY

This information has now been updated and is valid for 2017.

Facilities in Mozambique

Inhambane
Name: Hospital Provincial de Inhambane
Address: Inhambane, Mozambique
Phone Number: +25829320345

Maputo
Name: Hospital Central de Maputo
Address: Central De Maputo, Avenue Eduardo Mondlane, Maputo, 1100
Phone Number: +2582132082

Facilities in South Africa

Nr KuSungula
Name: Nelspruit Medi Clinic
Address: 1 Louise Street, Nelspruit 1201 Mpumalanga
Phone Number: +27137590500

For Mozambique Evacuation
Name: Lowveld Hospital
Address: 10 Rothery St, Nelspruit, 1200, South Africa
Phone: +27137527576

Closest Chamber for HBO/Recompression
Name: St Augustine’s Hospital Hyperbaric Medicine Centre
Address: 107 Chelmsford Road, Durban
Phone Number: +27312685255

  1. MEDICAL COVER

Our in-country staff will have access to medical consultation with our overseas Medical Officer 24/7. Every LTO staff member is trained in First Aid and at least PADI Rescue Diver qualified.

A basic medical kit is provided at each site, the content of which is agreed prior to the season in consultation with Love The Oceans’ professional medic. These kits are designed to deal with as many non-emergency medical eventualities as reasonably possibly onsite, and also to support emergency incidents and stabilize a casualty for transfer to more extensive medical facilities where needed. All LTO staff are trained with our first aid kits and can use it competently.

  1. EVACUATION

Guinjata Bay poses challenges to evacuations due to the remote location of the site. However, Guinjata has transportation means (boat and vehicle) permanently located on site.

6.1 Medium and High Priority Evacuations

Medium priority evacuations would normally be sent to Inhambane Hospital or the main hospital in Maputo for treatment. The procedure is as follows:

  • The Site Manager on site will assess the patient and following consultation with the Medical Officer and local medical facilities will make the decision to evacuate the patient.
  • The Site Manager will inform Love The Oceans’ UK Office of the impending evacuation.
  • The Site Manager will ensure that preparation for the patient’s arrival in Inhambane and/or Maputo including admission to a hospital and an appointment to see a doctor upon arrival of the patient
  • The patient should be able to be transported to Inhambane by car, and/or to Maputo by commercial flight or car (if at night). A LTO representative or someone deemed appropriate to accompany the patient will travel with the patient at all times.

6.2 Emergency Evacuations

  • The Site Manager on site will assess the patient and following consultation with the Medical Officer and local medical facilities will make the decidion to evacuate the patient.
  • The Site Manager will inform Love The Oceans’ UK Office of the impending evacuation and ring the relevant Medical Assistance Insurance Lines.
  • If the evacuation is from Guinjata, the patient will be taken by car to Inhambane Hospital if they can be treated there or to stabilize the patient. If the case cannot be treated by Inhambane Hospital, the patient must be transported to Inhambane Airport in order to transfer the patient on to Maputo Hospital or South Africa by plane if it is daylight. However, if it is night time air evacuation will not be possible so the patient should be transferred over land to either the Hospital in Maputo to be treated there or to Maputo Airport to be air transferred to South Africa.
  • The Site Manager will contact the UK office to inform them of the situation enabling the UK office to liaise with the patient’s next of kin and inform them of the situation. Regular updates of the patient’s condition will be relayed by the Site Manager to the UK Office.
  1. REPORTING AND LOGGING

During evacuations it is crucial that a log is kept by the Site Manager and the Medical Officer or accompanying LTO staff detailing times, personnel involved and all other details relevant to the evacuation process.

All medium priority evacuations must be logged by the Site Manager and included in the post-season medical report. For High Priority and Emergency Level evacuations the Medical Officer and Site Manager must each make a detailed report immediately following the incident. A full safety assessment must be carried out after all evacuations and if a similar incident is likely all activities must be stopped until the situation has been rectified.

The Site Manager or Senior On Site LTO Management will collate the reports of all evacuations for submission to Love The Oceans UK Office. The Site Manager will also submit relevant medical documentation and a summary of evacuation costs to the UK office to enable an insurance claim to be processed.

  1. MASS EVACUATION AND DISASTER MANAGEMENT

There is the possibility, albeit incredibly small, that a large scale incident could occur which would require a large number of Love The Oceans volunteers and staff being repatriated. Such incidents could include political unrest, natural disaster and terrorist attacks. These incidents can be broken into two types: those with prior warning and those without.

Major incident with prior warning

Some major incidents come with a degree of prior warning. A good example of this is political unrest resulting in violence, which would have a build-up period. We constantly monitor the political situation of the area we work in and if our Senior ground staff or Site Manager decides that the political situation has become unsafe they would order a full evacuation.

In such an incident the Site Manager or Senior LTO ground staff would liaise with the Love The Oceans UK Office and relevant embassies to agree the best route for repatriation.

Major incident with no prior warning

Some incidents, such as a terrorist attack or natural disaster, would have no prior warning. In cases such as these the field staff would get all the volunteers and staff to a place they deemed safe by whatever means they decide best. From here the Site Manager or Senior ground staff would contact the volunteers’ embassies to coordinate an evacuation strategy. The details of such an evacuation would vary dramatically depending on the situation and as such it is impossible to produce more detailed information. 

  1. IMPORTANT CONTACTS
Name Position Number
Francesca Trotman Managing Director/Founder +447881795062
Pippa Fitch Operations Manager +447515880505
Lynn Retief Guinjata Dive Centre Owner +258844015449

+27836282077

Zelda Norden Guinjata Dive Centre Owner +258444596985

+27848581025

DAN Diving Emergency Service Hotline Emergency diving medical advice 24/7 +6188219242
Inhambane Airport N/A +25829320312
UK Embassy (Maputo) N/A From Mz: +25821356000
From UK: 02070081500
US Embassy (Maputo) N/A Business hours: +25821492797 x3439
After hours:
+25821490723
Canadian Embassy (Maputo) N/A +25821492623
Australian Embassy (Maputo) N/A +25821302155
Irish Embassy (Maputo) N/A +25821491440

+25821496312