Hospitainer builds hospital in Philippines
In the first week of December a mobile Hospital (build out of shipping containers) is send to the worst-hit area of the Philippines to bring medical relief to the victims of the Typhoon Haiyan. The hospital is transported by plane and boat to the disaster area.
On November 8, 2013 the Philippines got hit by one of the worst storms ever reported, typhoon Haiyan, which reached wind speeds of more than 250 km/h and therefore can be headed under the fifth and strongest category. Entire villages and cities are wiped out, trees are pulled out of the ground and roofs are blown of houses. Up till now more than 5,000 people have lost their lives due to the typhoon and over 13 million people have been victimized by this natural disaster.
The health consequences of the disaster are immense. More than fifty-percent of the hospitals in the affected area are destroyed. Thousands of people with fractures, cuts and other injuries are waiting for medical care. Besides serious injuries caused by flying debris and collapsed buildings now, three weeks after the typhoon, other diseases emerge due to lacking hygiene and clean drink water. Diarrhoea, dehydration, severe skin infections, pneumonia and tuberculosis are becoming more common. One group is in this whole drama extra vulnerable; estimates are that around 200,000 pregnant women live in the disaster area. Rolof Mulder from Hospitainer tells: “The need is high, women currently give birth between the rubble, lacking any privacy and medical care. The Hospitainer provides these women a safe and secure environment where mother and child can receive all the needed medical care. The Hospitainer is equipped with an emergency obstetric clinic so that caesarean sections and other surgical interventions can be carried out”.
The Hospital will leave this week to Palo Leyte. The island Leyte is currently a refuge for hundreds of thousands of victims but nevertheless is self also severely damaged, more than 60% of the infrastructure on the island is destroyed. Once arrived, the hospital can be build and installed within three days. The hospital is self-sufficient because of its use of solar panels and water treatment. When the hospital is ready for use it can facilitate more than 2,000 operations on an annual base. A Hospitainer (what the mobile hospital is called) has already been deployed in Haiti in 2010 after the country got hit by a devastating earthquake. Currently several Hospitainers are deployed in Syria to medically assist victims of the Syrian conflict. The Philippines will with this hospital not only be helped the coming period; a Hospitainer has a life expectancy of more than 40 years.