Former nurse anesthetist Kibret Abebe is the founder of Tebita Ambulance, which he set up in 2008 having witnessed many tragic, unnecessary deaths due to Ethiopia’s lack of ambulance services. Starting the business meant ignoring the advice of peers and relatives – who argued that such services were the responsibility of the government or the Red Cross – and selling his house to pay for the first three vehicles. Tebita now cross-subsidises its work by providing first aid training and remote medical assistance services to commercial clients; it also runs a paramedic college. But, though Covid-19 has prompted an increased need for his company’s expertise, it has also caused huge pressures on the business.
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