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Africa_Mauritania_Mining _International SOS

Case Study

How our Medical Team Saved a Life on a Mining Site in Mauritania



International SOS provides on-site medical services, including medical staffing, supplies and equipment, consulting, assistance services and training, to this mining client in a remote part of Mauritania. One afternoon, one of the client’s employees collapsed and went into cardiac arrest on the site’s football ground. His colleagues immediately recognised the emergency and activated the International SOS onsite medical team which responded right away. The patient was successfully resuscitated thanks to an excellent system in place – the links in the chain of survival were promptly and effectively applied.


Our client’s gold mining site is in a remote area, located 300 km from Nouakchott, the capital of Mauritania. The site accommodates more than 3,000 employees and contractors, and no local state medical facilities exist within the vicinity. The client needed a reliable health partner to ensure its workforce had access to appropriate primary and emergency medical care at all times.


To fully support our client’s Duty of Care agenda, International SOS operates and manages the mine’s healthcare facility. This allows for the provision of emergency medical care including an ambulance response service, primary care, and employee wellness services, all of which are supported by 24/7 International SOS Assistance Centres. Our medical teams remain continually up to date with weekly emergency drills and the site is also an American Heart Association accredited Training Site under our International AHA Training Centre.

Our health experts have also supported the client in developing a customised site-based medical emergency response plan to be activated in the event of site-based emergencies. To further ensure that the clients’ onsite teams are fully equipped with lifesaving skills, International SOS is currently busy implementing a First Aid training programme on site whereby over 1,000 personnel have already been trained.


When one of our client’s employees collapsed suddenly during a football match, his colleagues knew immediately what to do. Thanks to their First Aid training, they recognised the life-threatening emergency, and immediately activated the local emergency response system.  The International SOS medical team responded promptly to the football pitch, assessed the situation, provided cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and applied an automated external defibrillator (AED). The patient responded quickly to the early interventions and became responsive and interactive. The medical team then transferred the patient to the site clinic via ambulance. Through further care, the clinic team identified and resolved potential causes of the collapse and sudden cardiac arrest. Once stable, he was referred to the National Cardiac Institute for further investigation and definitive care. He is expected to make a full recovery.

This case study highlights the importance of having a well-qualified and equipped medical team on site, a workforce educated in First Aid response, and a well drilled emergency response system in place which all increase the chances of saving an employee’s life.