Turning Shipping Containers into Mobile Medical Headquarters

Every year countries around the world are laid siege to by natural and environmental disasters. 2014 saw the largest outbreak of the deadly virus commonly known as Ebola. During the span of a year over 28,000 cases were documented, with over 11,000 deaths confirmed.

The majority of these outbreaks took place in in West Africa, effecting Guinea and Sierra Leone. In particular, Sierra Leone has a history of conflict and struggle that goes all the way back to its colonial days and into its modern civil war era. This has led to a country that is in many ways fragmented and divided in its leadership and subsequently, in its ability to respond to humanitarian crises.

What Was the Problem?

shipping containers for mobile medical

There were several factors that made the containment and treatment of Ebola particularly difficult in Sierra Leone and other African countries.

Lack of Capacity
In the hardest hit countries there was a common problem – there were not enough facilities to accommodate infected individuals. This meant that precious time was lost in diagnosing individuals and getting them the early care that would have given them the best chance of fighting the virus. In addition, the lack of facilities also meant that there was also a lack of equipment.

Managerial Framework
Medical personnel were stretched thin in their efforts to treat the overwhelming number of patients. Hospitals were either understaffed, under-equipped, or lacked the managerial framework to make quick decisions in the moment. Large medical wards and hospitals, particularly in countries that aren’t known for having state-of-the-art facilities can be grueling places to work.

Patient Remoteness
The virulent Ebola virus is typically found in remote areas before it ever reaches large populations. The key to stopping its spread is to cut it off at the source. The problem is that some villages are far from infrastructure and medical facilities. Patients must either be taken to urban areas or temporary, makeshift medical facilities must be brought in piece-meal. This takes time and money.

Modified Shipping Containers are the Solution

shipping containers for mobile medical

There’s a new solution that hopes to transform the way we respond to disasters and outbreaks – modified shipping containers. These high-strength, portable solutions are being transformed into mobile medical facilities that will be the first responders in areas that need help fast.

The can be customized to fit nearly any crises application, from war, famine, flood, earthquakes, infectious disease, and much more. Their mobility means that they can airlifted and dropped – self-contained and ready to go with a medical team included.

From power sources, facilities, medical equipment, internet access and more – these mobile medical facilities can effectively act as part of a network or autonomously if required.

Have Another Application in Mind?

Shipping containers will change the way the world responds to crises, but their potential is inexhaustible. Do you have a different application in mind? We want to hear it and we’d love to build it. Contact Saf-T-Box today.

:Sources:

http://www.who.int/csr/disease/ebola/overview-august-2014/en/

http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/health/a6750/shipping-container-clinics-could-be-the-future-of-mobile-hospitals/

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