According to the World Health Organization, natural disasters kill approximately 90,000 people and affect almost 160 million people each year, worldwide. The importance for governments, local municipalities, first responders, as well as international aid organization to rapidly respond to such disasters with mobile hospitals and medical facilities cannot be understated.
“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.
International Medical Corps, founded in 1984 by Dr. Robert Simon, provides disaster relief, health care, food, clean water, hygiene, mental health, as well as microfinance programs in more than 30 countries. The organization currently employs more than 7,500 people.
In order to develop an emergency response field hospital to respond to disasters such as the horrific 2010 Haiti Earthquake, International Medical Corps worked with BLU-MED Response Systems to design and procure a state-of-the-art, fully-equipped 9,000 square foot mobile hospital to respond to future large-scale disasters. While assisting International Medical Corps with the development of a mobile hospital for their disaster and emergency response efforts, a requirement of the project was that the medical facility be equipped with the medical equipment and supplies, power generation, food, as well as water and sanitation systems needed to be self-contained and self-sufficient for up to four weeks. “Having a sophisticated mobile field hospital that we can deploy almost anywhere in the world, is a game-changer in our ability to save more lives,” Traub stated.
As anyone involved in disaster response of any scale will tell you, logistics is a significant component to any disaster response plan. So, when the team at the International Medical Corps decided to seek help from a company that could provide logistical expertise, they turned to FedEx.
“We started to look at how we could better store the hospital and reconfigure it so that it was more agile, more flexible, and we started looking for a company that we could collaborate with to really help us think through all of that. FedEx certainly was on the top of our list” said Erica Tavares, Senior Director of Institutional Advancement for International Medical Corps.
Working with FedEx, the location of the mobile hospital was changed from BLU-MED’s facility just outside of Boise, Idaho to a warehouse location near FedEx’s Memphis Hub in Tennessee. “We knew we needed to move it to some location near the Memphis Hub because we have global connectivity from here anywhere," said David Lusk, Senior Manager of Global Operations Control for FedEx. "To have it in close proximity and to have it in a warehouse location that we controlled ... We get a call from International Medical Corps; we can go get it, bring it to the hub, build it up, put it on an airplane and go.”
The partnership between International Medical Corps and FedEx, under FedEx Cares’ program, greatly expands the response capability of International Medical Corps - providing up to 300 surgeries, and 6,000 outpatient consultations per month, anywhere in the world within 48 to 72-hours!
Additional information for the following organizations can be found online or by calling the numbers provided below.
BLU-MED Response Systems
International Medical Corps
Featured photo source: Medium.com