3 Mobile Maternity Units for UNFPA Myanmar
At Hospitainer, we pride ourselves on our ability to rapidly respond to our clients’ requests and provide high-quality, mobile, modular medical solutions. Sadly, there are factors outside of our control that can cause delays, such as the current unrest in Myanmar.
Hospitainer was approached by the United Nations Population Fund in Myanmar in November 2020 with a request for 3 Maternitainers, Hospitainer’s mobile hospitals specializing in gynecological care and treatment of victims of gender-based violence (GBV). Like our other Hospitainers, the Maternitainer can be placed on a truck for mobility and has a medical grade finishing based on the criteria of UN organizations.
The Maternitainer comes with required equipment such as a delivery/examination table, medicine to last for a year and systems that let it function autonomously. These include things like a generator, clean and wastewater tanks, 2-step air filtration, AC and more. Thanks to these systems and the mobility provided by placing the container on a truck, the Maternitainer can provide care even in places that are hard to reach and to communities that would otherwise struggle to get it.
While the equipment is important, another noteworthy feature of the Maternitainer is how it allows for privacy. The examination area can be separated from the rest of the container by a curtain, allowing women to be examined or give birth with a degree of privacy. This privacy can also be important for women seeking treatment for GBV without fear of social stigma.
The order included a request to have everything shipped before the end of 2020, so we set to work to make it happen. Hospitainer made sure the three Maternitainers were packed and ready in five weeks. By December 29th, they were waiting in the harbor to be shipped to Myanmar. While they left on schedule, things did not go as planned.
On 01-02-2021, Democratically elected members of the nation’s ruling party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), were deposed by Myanmar’s military. Power was transferred to the Commander-in-chief of Defense Services, Ming Aung Hlaing, who proclaimed a year-long state of emergency and declared the results of the 2020 election to be invalid. Hlaing based this claim on alleged voter fraud on behalf of the NLD.
Due to the resulting unrest in the area, problems arose with international shipping. Unfortunately, this also meant that our Maternitainers were stuck in the harbor for some time and couldn’t be put to use. We can only hope that they will be used to give people the care they need soon.