PAHO tours the Barbados Defence Force Mobile Field Hospital

19 Sep 2023
Touring a field medical facility

Bridgetown, Barbados, 18 September 2023 (PAHO) – The Barbados Defence Force (BDF) Field Medical Team recently erected a field medical hospital on the grounds of the Barbados National Stadium.

A mobile hospital is a small hospital or health facility furnished with full medical equipment which can be easily moved and set up in different locations.  This field hospital can be deployed when either the main health facilities are not fully functional or when there is a need to swiftly deploy medical capacity either to compliment the main health facility or in areas that would not have easy access to the main health facility.

This World Health Organization (WHO) accredited Type 1 facility, which was set up for two weeks, opened its doors to the public for viewing and to participate in activities like health checks.  Other visitors included government officials as well as international and national donor agencies.

PAHO/WHO Representative for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean Countries, Dr Amalia Del Riego toured the mobile field hospital.

“PAHO/WHO is very pleased to have partnered with the BDF in support of establishing this impressive facility.  It is reassuring to know that this infrastructure is available to respond to emergencies in any part of the region in the shortest possible time. Our organizations have had a long history of collaboration, and we look forward to continuing this partnership.”

Medical Liaison Officer of the BDF, Major David Clarke and Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) Florence Gittens guided Dr. Del Riego on the tour along with a team of BDF personnel.

Dr. Amalia Del Riego with Major David Clarke (left) and Lt. Col. (Retired) Florence Gittens (right)

Some of the areas toured included registration, triage, operating theatre, x-ray, antenatal clinic, obstetrics, delivery room, separate wards for male, females and children and the pharmacy.

For the BDF, the idea of having a field hospital evolved from responding to a disaster situation in another Caribbean Island.  Having witnessed the destruction of the hospital in that country, it was felt that a field hospital would have been best suited for the situation.  It was then that research and the groundwork commenced for establishing the facility.

The Barbados Defence Force was accredited in September 2019 as a Type 1 field hospital, it is the only team in the Caribbean with this certification.  They are currently working towards Type 2 accreditation.