Ebola in Africa and unrelated casualties among United Nations or African Union peacekeepers have sharpened the minds of military medical authorities to a renewed focus on emergency medical treatment.
Pretoria-based Weatherhaven RCS Africa (Hanger 3, Stand S4) was the first to deliver accommodation to house 1,200 soldiers and a UN Level 2 medical field hospital for the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) deployed in Africa.
The company was in New York earlier this month to brief the UN on redeployable medical facilities, including Level 1 and 2 field hospitals. At an earlier meeting of the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations, the world body adopted the South African doctrine and standards to be part of UN standard operating procedures for ‘blue helmet’ military facilities.
“This proves South African Military Health Service doctrine is aligned with international trends on care in combat operations,” said Col Louis Kirstein of the SANDF’s medical arm.
Resuscitation, minor surgery and treatment are undertaken at a Level 1 medical post – a redeployable capability positioned by air or land – after which casualties are moved to a Level 2 facility.
“This semi-static Level 2 field hospital provides specialist care, including operating theatres, a high-care unit, and even dental and psychological capabilities,” explained Karen Coetzer, marketing manager. “In its largest configuration, we deploy up to 65 containers with 350 specialists in various medical disciplines.”
Weatherhaven RCS Africa has years of experience in redeploying, maintaining and refurbishing various types of camps, including Level 1 and 2 military medical and UN hospitals. At all the redeployable camps, electrical power, water, sewage and related services are installed in a plugand- play configuration, to be removed with ease after completion of the mission. In the majority of situations, the company makes use of environmentally friendly installations, such as solar power, grey water and biological instead of chemical sewage treatment.