Pedernales, Ecuador, 20 April 2023 - On April 17, PAHO Ecuador officially handover to the Ministry of Public Health a donation of two hospitalization modules for the mobile hospitals "Hospital Móvil N.1" and "Hospital Móvil N.2", which are Emergency Medical Teams (EMTs) type 2, with surgical and hospitalization capacity. The event was held on this date in commemoration of the 7.8 earthquake of April 16, 2016 that had as its epicenter the city of Pedernales, Ecuador.
During the event, it was highlighted that in the response to that earthquake, Ecuador was the first country in the Americas to execute in a real scenario, under EMT standards, the management to register, verify, coordinate and monitor the medical teams deployed in the affected areas. Ecuador was also the first country in the region to classify two type 2 EMTs.
This donation, which was also made within the framework of COVID-19's Incident Management System (IMS), will contribute to increasing national capacity in health response to emergencies, disasters and pandemics, both in remote sites and in urban areas.
Prior to the official handover, a three-day practical training session was held at the facilities of Mobile Hospital No. 1 in Pedernales, where 28 professionals from the mobile hospitals were trained in the deployment, handling, storage, maintenance and deployment of these modules. In addition, safety issues were addressed in the assembly and other aspects related to the proper use of this infrastructure.
The modules constitute the main infrastructure of the mobile hospitals, with a surface area of 600 square meters, which house hospitalization, outpatient consultation and other health services according to the needs of each intervention. The renovation of these modules has made it possible to strengthen the infrastructure of the health facility, and also provides greater flexibility and mobility in the emergency response of the MOH. During the COVID-19 pandemic, these EMTs attended more than 350 thousand people and played a key role in supporting the country's hospital network.
The PAHO/WHO EMT initiative aimed to ensure that emergency response is carried out in compliance with minimum standards that guarantee safety, efficiency, and promt health treatment focused on the needs of the population.Currently, 8 EMTs in the Region (located in Barbados, Costa Rica, Ecuador and the United States) have been recognized as international EMTs by the WHO and PAHO global classification process, and 20 teams are in the mentoring process to obtain this certification.
The donation was made possible by the U.S. government and the training was financially supported by the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) and the Ford Foundation.
To learn more about the implementation of the EMT initiative: