Repatriation from Saudia Arabia to Nigeria

The situation

A Nigerian national working off the coast of Saudi Arabia had suffered a psychotic episode and had been transferred to a Saudi hospital for treatment. Charles Taylor Assistance was asked to oversee his care, manage medical bills and repatriate him to Nigeria once he was fit to fly.

The challenges

We would need to work with our agents on the ground to organise hospital payments, liaise with the man’s doctors and book temporary accommodation once he was discharged - but the Covid pandemic was at its height and extensive restrictions were in place. This would also make it hard to transfer the patient home to Nigeria.

The solution

Our in-house medical team liaised extensively with the man’s treating doctors and we successfully settled all his medical bills. Once the patient was ready to be discharged, we sourced and funded a hotel near the port, so he could stay close to his offshore employers. Acutely aware of his vulnerability, we kept in constant touch with him, whilst also staying up-to-speed with changing travel restrictions and their potential impact on his flight home.
Covid rules meant that the man was unable to fly home on a commercial flight with a medical escort (normal procedure for this sort of case), so the next challenge was to secure an air ambulance and accompanying medical crew. Once this was booked, we needed clearance to leave Saudi and land in Nigeria; initially denied by the authorities due to Covid, but eventually agreed after extensive conversations with the Nigerian government and others. It was a race against time to ensure that Covid test results remained valid, but the mission was completed successfully.

The outcome

Once he landed in Nigeria, the man was taken all the way home with his medical escort and happily reunited with his family, who were fully briefed about his ongoing needs.

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