Shipping Containers: A Medical Clinic in a Box
Disease and illness have no boundaries. It doesn’t matter where you are in the world, there’s a chance of getting sick and needing urgent medical attention. The problem is, there are many places that it’s simply impossible to build a medical clinic quickly and cost effectively, be it in harsh climates, developing nations or conflict zones.
Often the perfect solution is a custom built shipping container medical clinic. Second hand shipping containers are available virtually anywhere, are strong, built to last, easy to transport and low cost.
There are a wide variety of charities and NGOs who are using shipping containers both as self container clinics, and of course to transport medical supplies all around the world.
One such charity is Clinic In A Can. Clinic in a Can create fully self contained medical clinics in standard ISO sized shipping containers. Their containers are constructed in the USA and transported to disaster zones or those with little or no medical infrastructure such as: Haiti, Sierra Leone, South Sudan and the Philippines.
Another such NGO is Containers 2 Clinics (also known as Care 2 Communities) who create modular containerised health clinics for developing countries to serve women and children in need. They are different to other charity type operations in that they only use donations for the initial set up costs, creating a sustainable healthcare system that doesn’t rely on constant international aid.
In the past 5 years, over 15,000 patients have been cared for in these shipping container clinics. Rather than custom building brand new containers, the charity repurposes second hand shipping containers. A normal medical clinic would consist of multiple containers, housing consultation rooms, a lab for testing samples, storage space and a main office.
Modifications include ventilation, air conditioning, a sterile laboratory area and space for consultations. Because these are ending up in remote communities, their utilities have to be able to work with third world infrastructure, such as fluctuating power supplies. These containers can run off the standard power grid, or be modified to be run with local wind or solar systems making them perfect for an off the grid medical clinic.
Clinics 4 All is another organisation that focuses on providing containerised health care centres for those in desperate need of medical attention. Seventy percent of those living in Sub Saharan Africa are living in remote rural areas, while 90% of healthcare facilities are based in urban areas. This means that most, if not all, inhabitants receive very little access to even a minimum standard of health care throughout their lives. With some pretty bold goals, they hope to have 3,000 community based clinics constructed within the next 5 years, with 7,500 trained health care workers treating anywhere from 1.5 to 2.1 million patients each and every day. All from modified shipping containers!
By building cheap, transportable and scalable medical centres in areas that need them most, local communities are empowered. They are able to manage their own health care without relying on temporary foreign aid, as well as upskilling in order to take control of their own health outcomes. The humble recycled shipping container is just one of the many tools that are being used to help the world become a safer and healthier place.
By designing these compact, portable and durable clinics, NGOs around the world are increasing the availability of affordable healthcare to those who need it the most. Not only that but many companies, including our own, are directly involved with supporting organisations that move and ship medicines and other health products to those who are in need – such as with MyKids in Myanmar (Burma).
Of course shipping container medical clinics aren’t just for the third world, developing nations or disaster zones, they are perfect for almost any remote application, from mining camps, to military bases and offshore oil rigs. Have you found an interesting shipping container based medical clinic? Post a brief description and a link to it in the comments.
Are You Looking To Build a Portable Medical Clinic?
Gateway Container Sales & Hire have a wide range of containers available that you can contract your own builder to modify for you, or take a design based on a pre existing modified office container with air conditioning, power and medical grade stainless steel fittings – virtually anything is possible. Contact our team of container modification experts now to find out more.