In 2011, with support from USAIDs Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), International Medical Corps designed a modular field hospital to provide surgical and other emergency care when local hospitals were overwhelmed or inaccessible. International Medical Corps will leverage four years of experience managing the field hospital, and over 32 years of experience as a premier emergency responder, to build on the previous field hospital model. This commitment will scale in-house capacity to manage a field hospital that will provide lifesaving assistance after large scale disasters, and has the flexibility to deploy to medium and smaller-scale crises.
The field hospital will retain two medical teams and one support team on standby who can become operational within a 24-hour period once deployed and after obtaining governmental approval from the disaster-affected country. The field hospital will have capacity to meet the immediate trauma and emergency surgical needs for an initial one-month period of deployment that can be extended up to three months should circumstances require. International Medical Corps will further develop the hospitals capacity to respond flexibly to other crises including disease outbreaks, nutrition emergencies, and displacement.
The hospital will be stored in the U.S., with pharmaceuticals stored in the Netherlands. International Medical Corps will procure and stock the necessary supplies to sustain the operation for four weeks the estimated amount of time needed until necessities can be replenished on the ground. International Medical Corps will actively monitor humanitarian situations, coordinating with local governments and health actors before and during deployment.
Once the hospital is operational, International Medical Corps will hire and train national health workers and support staff to build local capacity and mitigate cultural and communication barriers ensuring overall effectiveness of the program and increasing self-reliance to respond to future disasters.
September 2016 November 2016: Transportation and Warehousing
-Transport the field hospital from Idaho to a more centralized location within the U.S, allowing for greater flexibility and timely deployment
-Warehousing, including day-to-day management, stock rotation and inventory management for the field hospital
December 2016 February 2017: Modularization
-Repackage the field hospitals current equipment and supplies to create greater flexibility and allow for deployment in a medium or small natural disaster
-Ongoing management and maintenance of the field hospital, including maintenance of the physical infrastructure; warehouse management; and procurement and maintenance of the pharmaceutical supplies
March 2017 June 2017 Procurement, Staffing, and Training
-Procure and stock supplies to sustain operation for four weeks, including rotation and replenishment of consumables and pharmaceuticals
-Recruit additional staff to develop a roster of non-medical personnel, including communication, logistics, HR, and other volunteers that can support deployment and on the ground operations of the field hospital
-Spearhead one training and simulation for field hospital volunteers and staff. Annual field simulations ensure volunteer and staff readiness for deployment and real-world testing of policies and protocols; they also provide the opportunity for continued improvement of the hospital and its services
-Procure and package field hospital to enable deployment in the event of an epidemic
June 2017 August 2019
-Procure and package the field hospital to enable deployment for large-scale displacement and nutrition emergencies
-Effectively monitor for potential disasters and successfully deploy when necessary
-Ensure government support in disaster location for deployment
-Ongoing management and maintenance of the field hospital, including maintenance of the physical infrastructure; warehouse management; and rotation of consumables and pharmaceutical supplies
International Medical Corps anticipates a minimum of two deployments over the three-year commitment period, but will adjust the work-plan as appropriate based on disaster response.
The Center of Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters reports that 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. In 1970, the average number of natural disasters annually was 78; in 2014, there were 324. Compounding the impact of natural disasters, pandemics continue to inspire fear across the globe, with the recent Ebola outbreak in 2014 infecting more than 28,600 people and killing over 11,300.
As the number of disasters grows, so too does the risk of injury, illness, and death, causing a surge in the number of people seeking medical care. These same emergencies damage hospital and surgical facilities, interrupt medical supply chains, and impede medical providers from reaching those most affected. As emergencies unfold, there is an urgent need to provide immediate access to appropriate care for those who are injured, especially if the injuries include open wounds, blunt trauma, and burns. The first 72 hours are the most critical for patients, and also the most chaotic for hospitals, most of which become overwhelmed and understaffed.
The need for flexible and agile field hospitals was evidenced by 2013s Typhoon Haiyan, 2014s Ebola outbreak in West Africa, and 2015s 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Nepal. In this context, International Medical Corps will scale a flexible and rapidly deployable emergency response field hospital, which can arrive anywhere in the world within 24-48 hours. The hospital will provide surge capacity for critical medical interventions where existing medical services are overwhelmed, and can provide an essential stopgap where medical infrastructure is destroyed or insufficient to care for affected communities.
International Medical Corps is now seeking a range of business, government and academic partners to provide funding to store, supply, and deploy the field hospital in the event of a natural, man-made, or epidemic disaster. International Medical Corps is also seeking partners build in-house capacity to manage an emergency field hospital that has both the scope and strength to respond and provide medical assistance after large scale disasters and the flexibility to deploy to smaller crises that require emergency health care in areas that include ICT, HR, logistics and more. Additionally, International Medical Corps is seeking a roster of non-medical personnel, including communication, logistics, HR, and other volunteers that can support deployment and on the ground operations of the field hospital.
Partners will be able to: 1) participate in the annual disaster training and simulation, building their own disaster response capacity as needed; 2) have the opportunity to deploy with International Medical Corps in an emergency response; and 3) tell the story of lifesaving disaster preparedness and response through social media campaigns and additional media outlets.