DADAAB, Kenya — A BLU-MED mobile field hospital was recently set up by AmeriCares in Kenya at the new Kambioos Refugee Camp. Once operational, the hospital is expected to provide surgical and recovery capability for pediatric and maternity patients from the local Somalian refugee population.
The hospital will be staffed and operated by the International Medical Corps and is expected to be utilized for several years until a permanent structure can be constructed. The medical facility has an inpatient capacity of 60 beds and will provide access to healthcare for a population of approximately 90,000.
This same BLU-MED facility had previously provided five years of service following the 2005 Pakistan earthquake for another AmeriCares project in the mountain village of Banna.
During that period, over half a million patients received treatment by Save the Children – Pakistan, the organization responsible for operating that facility. Upon completion of that mission, the portable hospital was sent back to the United States, cleaned, repacked and subsequently deployed again to Kenya.
“You can still see some notes written by the medics in Pakistan on the walls of this facility,” observes BLU-MED’s President Dr. Don Diesel. “It’s gratifying to see evidence of these same shelters, having endured four winters in the mountains of Pakistan, continuing to provide healthcare now in the East African desert.”
In recent years, AmeriCares has also established BLU-MED field hospitals following the earthquake disasters of Haiti, Chile and China.
Unfortunately, at this time security incidents in the Dadaab region have severely restricted response measures to only lifesaving interventions. The Government of Kenya and international actors continue to process for solutions to improve the security and service delivery.
Other BLU-MED facilities in East Africa include locations in Asmara, Eritrea and Garissa, Kenya. Both of these 25-bed facilities are owned and operated by the Emirates World Humanitarian Mobile Hospital and each treats about 150 patients per day.