Ready, set, deploy… A hospital!

The incredible effort by First Responders with a vision to immediately deploy a mobile hospital anywhere, anytime in the world when disaster strikes.

When International Medical Corps mobilizes for disaster response, the mandate is simple: First There, No Matter Where. We know from experience that speed saves lives during the initial hours following a disaster, so our Emergency Response Teams deploy fast and begin their lifesaving work immediately, even in the most challenging environments.

Once our doctors and nurses arrive at the onset of an emergency, the environment is unpredictable. The team may be forced to work under extreme conditions, even without basic supplies like running water, in order to save lives.

But they shouldn’t have to.

Since 1990, natural disasters have affected approximately 217 million people each year. With recent trends indicating the number of vulnerable communities is likely to increase, the need for a flexible and agile response has never been greater.

Our solution? Maintain a rapidly deployable emergency response field hospital, which can arrive nearly anywhere in the world within 24–48 hours. When disaster strikes, the first hours and days are critical for saving as many lives as possible. But that’s exactly when the local hospitals are most overwhelmed and understaffed.

“The first 72 hours following an emergency is the critical window that we have to rush relief to those who need it most,” says Margaret Traub, Head of Global Initiatives at International Medical Corps.

She goes on to explain that “This is precisely the sort of hospital we could’ve used in Haiti in 2010, where the loss of life in the first 72 hours from lack of available resources to treat injuries and infections was very high.”

“Having a sophisticated mobile field hospital that we can deploy almost anywhere in the world, and that can be operational within 72 hours, is a game-changer in our ability to save more lives.”

The mobile field hospital deploys with enough supplies and equipment to be self-contained for four weeks, including: medicine, food, water purifiers, tents, generators, communication equipment and other basic necessities to provide emergency medical care.

Trained medical teams are also mobilized simultaneously as the field hospital and are equipped with the skills to support the hospital set up on the ground.

Once assembled, the hospital has a 60 bed capacity; 12 shelters that take up nearly a football field; and weighs some 50 tons.

When fully staffed, the mobile trauma and surgery facility can provide 300 surgeries and 6,000 outpatient consultations per month.

Doctors and nurses perform surgery as part of a disaster simulation.

The hospital is designed to meet the needs of communities following the largest-scale disasters — like the 2010 Haiti earthquake. But our team of first responders know that even in small or medium size disasters, or humanitarian crises, health facilities can be quickly overwhelmed.

Over the course of the last several years, International Medical Corps has identified several disasters, including 2013’s Typhoon Haiyan, the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, and the 2015 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Nepal, where a more agile and adaptable field hospital could have provided urgently needed care for communities.

So, we’re collaborating with FedEx, a company known for its speed and efficiency and with a deep commitment to disaster response — to ensure that the mobile hospital can also be deployed in a small scale disaster or other crisis.

FedEx’s experts have been working closely with our Emergency Response Team to reconfigure the storage of the hospital for more flexible deployments. And, FedEx will store the hospital at a warehouse near FedEx’s Global Hub in Memphis.

When a disaster strikes, FedEx will deploy all or part of the hospital in its aircraft, so International Medical Corps can be on the ground saving lives within 24–48 hours.

During a simulated drill, a “patient” is carried into surgery.

For the past 33 years, International Medical Corps has been on the front lines of every major disaster, conflict, famine or disease, delivering more than $2.5 billion in direct relief, supplies and training services to communities in 75 countries.

To meet new and growing threats like natural disasters and rapidly spreading global epidemics, International Medical Corps will mobilize this groundbreaking field hospital to assist the world’s most vulnerable people when and where they need it most.

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