Primary Health Mobile Clinic
Pre-design Research: Needs of Current Natural Disaster Response
During natural disasters like typhoons and earthquakes, medical care for those afflicted is needed. Disaster medicine is the area of medical specialization serving the dual areas of providing health care to disaster survivors and providing medical related disaster preparation, disaster planning, disaster response, and disaster recovery leadership throughout the disaster life cycle.
The main injuries and illnesses to focus on particularly after rapid-onset disasters are blunt trauma, crush-related injuries, or drowning. Deaths from communicable diseases after natural disasters are less common but are still a large issue. Due to said natural disasters, resources are often unavailable due to damage. One important resource is the primary health clinics and hospitals, which are crucial for maintaining a proper health system.
Current disaster relief organizations provide a swift coordinated disaster recovery plan in a crisis situation. However, they still have to coordinate with the local government which may aid or hinder the process. Their key focus areas include: control of communicable diseases including malaria, diarrhea, acute respiratory infections and cholera, immunizations, malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies in vulnerable populations, psychological services, and disaster preparedness and risk reduction.
Organizations and local government usually respond by sending in supplies and volunteers while setting up a temporary base of operations with an existing building, inflatable hospitals or a framed tent. Provisions include medical supplies, tents, and volunteer doctors and nurses. These provisions are transferred in numerous ways but most often they are sent in bulk individual packages and are not consolidated as a package. This results in disorganization and lack of communication in a time where people need to be treated as soon as possible.
There is also a lack of infrastructure that replaces or supplements the existing primary care facilities. Primary care is important because of not only treating the newly injured and afflicted but those that need constant care.
Design: Primary Health Mobile Clinic
After looking at the current experience of disaster medicine, I decided to focus on the mobile clinic because of its mobility and its potential of providing a more professional and complete health experience. My intervention is aptly named “Primary Health Mobile Clinic”, which not only focuses on disaster medicine but also on primary care to provide the system a longer lifespan. When not in used for disaster relief, the mobile clinic can be used in rural areas.
My systems of mobile clinics include a central hub in where the mobile clinics can be restocked, maintained, and cleaned properly. The central hub will be in charge of consolidating all of the donations and stocks then properly distribute them. They are also in charge of assigning doctors, nurses, and volunteers to the sites.
The Primary Health Mobile Clinic is equipped with everything you need for primary care. It is also designed to be modular so each unit can be replaced or the system can be modified to suit the crisis at hand. The current model that I have designed includes space for Waiting, First Aid, Reception, Diagnoses, Laboratory, and Toilet.
The modular system compresses and expands for easy mobility and can be customized depending on the need. It can also be transported with a truck or can also be dropped via helicopter.