Successful delivery and training of the Mobile Clinic – PHC for the Bahamas

Hurricane Dorian was the most intense tropical cyclone on record to strike the Bahamas and is regarded as the worst natural disaster in the country’s history.

Dorian struck the Abaco Islands on September 1 with maximum sustained winds of 185 mph (295 km/h), and went on to strike Grand Bahama at similar intensity, stalling just north of the territory with unrelenting winds for at least 24 hours. 

The resultant damage to these islands was catastrophic; most structures were flattened or swept to sea, heavy rainfall, high winds and storm surge left thousands of homes destroyed, at least 70,000 people were left homeless and at least 73 deaths recorded. The true death toll is unknown, but news sources in the Bahamas suggested that it will likely be significantly higher. As of December 7, 2019, more than 282 people are still reported as missing.  

 

In response to the catastrophic damage Dorian left in its wake in the Bahamas, International Medical Corps (IMC) deployed an emergency response team consisting of doctors, nurses, logisticians, mental health and psychosocial support services (MHPSS) specialists, and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) specialists. 

 

Shortly hereafter, Hospitainer was approached by the IMC and they subsequently purchased a mobile Primary Health Care unit (PHC). This mobile medical unit consists of a 20ft container designed to facilitate health services for patients otherwise unable to reach a traditional medical facility, effectively bringing the care to you. The 20ft shipping container is transformed into a mobile medical treatment facility with extreme robust characteristics, which were considered to be exactly what the storm damaged Bahamas would need. 

 

Hospitainer built the PHC unit within 1 week and shipped it to the northern island of Grand Bahama where it was received by the IMC and Peter Marshall from Hospitainer. The following day it was officially presented to the people of Grand Bahama and formally accepted by the acting Prime Minister the Hon. Peter Turnquest, M.P. and the Minister of Health the Hon. Dr. Duane E. Sands, M.P. in an extremely well attended ceremony.

 

As this was a gift from the IMC to the Bahamas, training was not only required for the IMC staff, but the local hospital personnel as well. Training consisted of the general use of the PHC unit including; power supply and voltage regulation, water filtration, air filtration, air conditioning, sterilization, storage and transport. 

 

4 months after the hurricane hit, the rebuilding of Grand Bahama is underway, but they still have a long way to go and can use all the help they can get. It was a privilege to meet and assist front line staff making a difference and to become involved in such a positive way. Locals and aid staff alike were all extremely thankful for the Hospitainer PHC and despite the devastation that still covers the island they were looking towards the future and felt blessed that Hospitainer was now an integral part of rebuilding its resilience.

 

At Hospitainer we believe in ensuring the right people have the right tools at the right time… The PHC will facilitate just that.

 

Peter Marshall

 

 

Quotes:

 

“Today, ladies and gentlemen, I am elated to accept the Hospitainer Primary Health Care Unit on behalf of the Government of The Bahamas, but most especially on behalf of the people of the High Rock community and Grand Bahama. This wonderful addition to our health care facilities is a fully equipped hurricane proof 20-foot mobile medical clinic, with a consultant room. Thus, our health care teams will be able to administer care inclusive of hygiene, medical, mental and psycho-social health services at the right time and at the right place, to mitigate human suffering. This Hospitainer is essential for east enders as you rebuild your lives and homes.”

Minister of Health, The Commonwealth of the Bahamas, the Hon. Dr. Duane E. Sands M.P.

 

“The Hospitainer Mobile Unit supports mobility of a full range of diagnostic services and has the complete medical solution integrated in the container structure. It can be used immediately after the storm. Even falling trees cannot break the Hospitainer. It is fully insulated, fully air-conditioned, completely self-sufficient and watertight. It has its own filtration system, weather and storm resistant and safe, even used in combat site.”

International Medical Corps Team Leader, Karol Bassim