The experience of countries affected by large-scale natural disasters in the Americas has revealed very specific humanitarian needs in the health sector. However, contrary to what the national and international press reports, most of the supplies that are needed to meet the immediate needs are already available in the country.
One of the more popular items on the "shopping list" of equipment and supplies presented to the international donor community is the field hospital.
Following are some points to keep in mind when considering making a request for a field hospitals in the aftermath of a disaster.
For a field hospital to be useful, it should:
Should a field hospital be necessary, national authorities should determine if there are already field hospitals that comply with the above criteria, and use these first.
The benefit of accepting donated field hospitals should be carefully examined, bearing in mind that:
When it comes to the issue of field hospitals in the aftermath of disasters, DO NOT...
Jean Luc Poncelet
Emergency Preparedness Program
Ph: (202) 974-3434
Fax: (202) 775-4578
Regional Office of the World Health Organization