U.S. AFRICOM Provides Field Hospitals to African Nations, Aiding in COVID-19 Treatment Efforts
- June 21, 2021
- Category: Fabric Buildings, Fabric Structures, HVAC Systems, Medical Systems, Military, Military Shelter Systems
Alaska Structures® (“Alaska”) is supplying United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) with military-grade field hospitals. The 30-bed and 40-bed medical facilities are equipped with negative pressure isolation facilities and other life-saving medical equipment needed to provide advanced-level care and treatment for patients infected with the coronavirus.
Having the lowest vaccination rate of all continents (only 2% of the population has received the first vaccination dose), Africa continues to struggle with combatting the effects of the coronavirus. In addition to lower-than-expected deliveries of vaccines combined with vaccination hesitancy, inadequate infrastructure is one of the many factors for the low vaccination rate. U.S. AFRICOM is donating the field hospitals to help African nations build their disaster readiness, response, and mitigation capabilities.
U.S. AFRICOM DONATES FIELD HOSPITALS TO AFRICA
According to its website, AFRICOM “counters transnational threats and malign actors, strengthens security forces, and responds to crises in order to advance U.S. national interests and promote regional security, stability, and prosperity.”
With this mission in mind, AFRICOM purchased a total of 14 self-sufficient field hospitals equipped with negative pressure isolation systems.
This purchase was part of a larger donation to strengthen local resources, which also included sending Alaska’s supervisors to train each country’s medical and support teams on assembly, operation, and storage of the medical shelters and support systems. In addition to the negative pressure isolation capability, the field hospitals allow doctors and medical staff to perform operations and medical procedures.
AFRICAN NATIONS RECEIVE FIELD HOSPITALS FROM U.S. AFRICOM
| Kenya’s border police unit received a 40-bed mobile field hospital worth $1.6 million (USD) from AFRICOM in October of 2020. It’s currently located in Kanyonyoo. The U.S. has donated close to $7.5 billion (USD) in resources since the start of the pandemic; this field hospital is a testament to the partnership between the U.S. and Kenya.
| South Africa completed their field hospital installation in November of 2020 in Mahikeng, the capital of the country’s north west province, where COVID-19 cases had seen a significant increase. The U.S. Embassy in Pretoria assisted South African officials with the hospital’s transfer during a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
| In March of 2021, Angola’s 40-bed field hospital installation was marked complete and officially handed over to the nation by Nina Maria Fite, Angola’s U.S ambassador. The inauguration took place in the Soyo municipality of the northern Zaire province.
| Installation of Burkina Faso’s field hospital was completed in April of 2021. The 40-bed field hospital was handed over by the U.S. Ambassador Sandra Clark.
| Djibouti completed their field hospital installation in May of 2021. U.S. Army General and AFRICOM’s commander Stephen Townsend and Djibouti’s U.S. Ambassador Jonathan Pratt announced the donation to Djibouti’s Ministry of Health. The hospital was part of a $6.2 million donation from the U.S. Government for COVID-19 assistance since the start of the pandemic.
| Tunisia received two 30-bed field hospitals in April of 2021. U.S. Ambassador Donald Blome and the nation’s Minister of Health Faouzi Mehdi were present on the day of the transfer. The U.S. has donated $36 million USD since the start of the pandemic to aid in the country’s immediate coronavirus needs as well as long-term social and economic distress.
| Ghana received a 30-bed field hospital equipped with negative pressure isolation facilities. The medical facility was completed in August 2021, in the capital city of Accra.
| The installation of a field hospital in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, was completed in April 2021. U.S. AFRICOM also sent laboratory supplies along with the field hospital to combat COVID-19.
| Senegal. Project details coming soon.
| Uganda. Project details coming soon.
| Algeria and the U.S. are among each other’s top trading partners — as part of maintaining a strong partnership and to combat COVID-19, U.S. AFRICOM donated a 35-bed field hospital (includes a five-bed intensive care unit (ICU)) equipped with a negative pressure isolation system. American and Algerian officials inaugurated the field hospital near Blida in August of 2021. The field hospital will treat and care for Algeria’s civilian population, as well as be used to administer COVID-19 vaccines.
| Morocco‘s Ministry of Health received two additional field hospitals in March of 2022. Held in the city of Salé, the “donation ceremony is yet another milestone in the strong partnership between our two countries,” said U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires David Green. The United States, through AFRICOM, has pledged a $20-plus million investment to enhance Morocco’s COVID-19 pandemic response capabilities. That investment also included an earlier donated 30-bed mobile field hospital for COVID-19 and other infectious disease outbreaks.
| Ambassador Leonard commissioned a 40-bed field hospital from U.S. AFRICOM to help combat COVID-19 in Nigeria. The field hospital, which includes negative pressure facilities and was donated to the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Health, was built in the United States, transported, and then assembled in Abuja by a Nigerian team.
| Niger’s $1.6 million 40-bed field hospital has been delivered to Camp Garba Hassane in Niamey, and will later be deployed about 90 kilometers north in Ouallam. The donation included training carried out by U.S. personnel to teach Nigerien teams to install, dismantle, move, and maintain the field hospital, which includes negative pressure isolation rooms. U.S. Ambassador to Niger Eric Whitaker was present during the handover ceremony, and said that the U.S. is committed to continuing its 61-year relationship with Niger and ensuring the health and safety of its citizens.
Field Hospitals for COVID-19 from Alaska Structures
As the world’s leading provider of rapidly deployable medical shelters and mobile field hospitals, Alaska Structures offers the most tested commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) medical shelters in the Department of Defense (DoD) inventory. Alaska Medical Shelters met or exceeded all operational requirements and were declared the safest and most survivable medical shelter when tested at the USAF Research Laboratory (AFRL) Joint SPICE.
Alaska Medical Shelters equipped with negative pressure isolation systems are playing an active role in combating COVID-19. More than 600 negative pressure isolation systems for COVID-19 have been deployed in the U.S., Canada, South America, Africa, the Middle East, and the Far East! Alaska’s Negative Pressure Isolation Facilities meet or exceed all airborne infection isolation guidelines established by the CDC. The system is capable of the following:
- Controls all three factors of indoor air quality including particles, biologicals, and gas phase volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
- Filters 100% of the return air while removing 99.984% of particulates that are at least 0.3 microns in size
- Removes a minimum of 30% ambient VOCs in each pass
- Alaska ECU™ completes more than 12 air exchanges per hour required by the CDC guidelines
Images provided by United States Africa Command