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Saviours in the Hills: Inflatable Hospitals Save the Day in Nepal

Crushed by the deadly earthquake, mobile hospitals are a lease of fresh hope for residents of rural Nepal

Updated
World
2 min read
MSF’s Inflatable hospital in Nepal. (Screengrab taken from MSF video)

More than a fortnight after the deadly earthquake rocked Nepal, residents in the rural areas are still struggling to reclaim their lives. Still reeling under widespread destruction, crippled hospitals and shoddy infrastructure is adding to their woes.

To alleviate the misery of the victims, an NGO Doctors Without Borders has stepped in. Armed with mobile hospitals or what are being referred to as ‘inflatable hospitals’, the group is providing critical aid to the victims of the earthquake.

With most medical stations and clinics reduced to rubble & an acute shortage of doctors, these innovative hospitals offer new hope to the injured and their families.

According to MSF website, the first such hospital was set up in Arughat, Nepal on May 5, a town in Gorkha district near the epicentre of the earthquake. The 20-bed hospital is equipped with operating facilities, as well as an obstetrics and maternity unit, and has already begun treating patients in the region.

“This facility is replacing the health centre that was destroyed in the earthquake. It provides health care to 10,000 inhabitants living here in Arughat, as well as 40,000 people in small inaccessible villages in the surrounding health district.”

–Dr. Jean-Paul Delain- Volunteer Doctor, MSF

These mobile hospitals are inflated with air tanks and attached pumps. There’s also air conditioning and an oxygen concentrator that converts air into oxygen. It has PVC walls to ensure a sealed, sterile environment. It takes around 2-3 days to set-up the tent, and is fully operational after being hooked up to electricity and water.

(Photo courtesy: MSF.org.uk)
(Photo courtesy: MSF.org.uk)

The humanitarian group, which provides medical aid to those in regions affected by natural disasters, health emergencies and conflicts around the world, developed the inflatable hospital in 2005, says a report on the Wired. Over the last decade the group has used the innovative design to provide aid in Pakistan, Indonesia, South Sudan, Nigeria and Haiti.

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