In Bangladesh, seasonal floods occur due to snow melt from the Himalayas as well as seasonal monsoons. How can villages in Bangladesh get health care if they don’t have a boat to transport them to regional health care centers? The answer – according to a recent article in The Economist-is that the hospital comes to them.
Three hours’ chug upstream, moored to the opposite bank, looms one of Friendship’s two hospital ships, converted with Mr Chowdhury’s involvement from a flat-bottomed steel barge. Many char [riverine islands made of silt and sand] communities are cut off even from primary health care, so the hospital comes to them.
It moves up and down the rivers on an advertised schedule, staying at each spot for weeks. Corrugated-iron shelters are set up on land for patients awaiting treatment, or recuperating after it. Each year the ships’ 72 doctors, nurses and pharmacists treat 105,000 patients: they deal with everything from skin infections to cooking-fire burns, and also administer vaccines.
Innovation at work.