3 Mobile Maternity units for UNFPA

A little while ago we spoke to a Dutch young men who was working on a project in the same area where two of our projects are conducted.

” I am busy in Um Rakuba and Tunaydba (gedaref) but next week I will also visit Hamdayet (the transport location where the refugees from Ethiopia are initially received before they can go to the other camps).

The camp consists in total of about 20,000 refugees spread over 5,000 tents. Many refugees are single (no family) and they are partly housed together in tents. The camp has grown enormously in the past month, almost doubling. This is also very much reflected in the facilities. In the photo attached you see that in the back half of the camp, there are no facilities yet (except wash). Also against the host community, the area is growing very quickly, dozens of shops, coffee shops, etc. have appeared in recent weeks. Currently, the government has limited the growth of the camp so no more refugees are allowed in, a new location for a 3rd camp is being looked at.

There is no tree (or blade of grass) in the camp and with the current temperature of around 45 degrees, this causes many problems. Many refugees also indicate that the tents are actually too hot to stay in and they try to build huts or shelters themselves from local materials.

There are enough washing facilities in itself, but the quality is not always good. Also, latrines cannot be pumped empty because there is no place to discharge the contents. This ensures that latrines that are full are removed, leaving a large pit with puddles etc., which is screened off with sticks while waiting for possibilities to drain it. Far from ideal but not much you can do about it yet..
In the camp is a large clinic of msf Netherlands where they are currently building a (semi?) permanent shelter, concentrated in the front half of the camp. Main problems patient show up with are respiratory and diarrhea. Since last week there is also a covid isolation center. In addition, they suffer from scorpions (And in the rainy season also snakes) and there is currently no medicine available for this.

The camp is very structured and there are many refugees with a good education. From my background there are in any case many engineers available.

The refugees are largely Christian which means they are currently fasting. From what I’ve seen they eat, but maybe not certain products (communication is often difficult because the English level is not very high). Water is (now) enough available because there is a canal with water supply and a purification facility. The fact that water flows here is quite special because I have not seen it anywhere except in the Nile (This channel is also fed by the Nile).”

Over the years, Hospitainer has provided a number of turn key, mobile, modular hospitals to various organisations operating in Sudan. Among these organisations is the UNFPA, who contacted us previously about providing an operating theatre complex for a refugee camp in Sudan. Several months later, we were approached again by the UNFPA with a request for 3 Maternitainers for that same camp.

The Maternitainer is a turn-key, mobile clinic built in a 20ft shipping container with medical finishing which is specifically designed for maternity care. It consists of a treatment/delivery room and a recovery area. It also has a toilet and shower and, like all Hospitainers, it’s equipped to run independently with clean and waste water storage, a generator, air conditioning and air filtration. 

Our Maternitainers are also frequently used to treat victims of gender-based violence. Not only are they designed to offer a degree of privacy, their focus on maternal care also offers victims a plausible reason for visiting without it being clear that they are seeking help, as this is not acceptable in some cultures.

Three Maternitainers will be stationed in the refugee camp, lightening the load on the operating theatre complex and providing the kind of specialized care they were designed for.