U.S. Donates Alaska Defense Field Hospital to Fight COVID-19 in South Africa
- November 20, 2020
- Category: Medical Shelters and Mobile Field Hospitals
The donation came from U.S. Africa Command, or AFRICOM, as part of their Humanitarian Assistance Program and was facilitated by U.S. Embassy personnel in Pretoria, South Africa.
South Africa’s Health Minister, Dr. Zweli Mkhize, chose the city of Mahikeng as the hospital’s location because of a growing number of COVID-19 cases over recent weeks and lack of existing medical facilities. The Mahikeng Provincial Hospital had 28 COVID patients in early November, but only four negative pressure isolation beds available.
Negative pressure isolation facilities are essential for treating and isolating patients with airborne infectious diseases such as COVID-19. Keeping the negative air pressure in these rooms prevents potentially contaminated air from escaping the isolation area and infecting other patients and staff.
The new field hospital from Alaska Defense is equipped with 40 negative pressure isolation beds. As a level I field hospital, the hospital is designed to provide immediate first aid and life-saving care.
Additional features of the field hospital include:
- Two 2,300-kilowatt generators for power
- Eight military HVAC units with high-efficiency particulate air filtration
- Ultraviolet light scrubber systems
- Toilets and showers
AFRICOM also sent a team to train personnel in Mahikeng on the hospital’s setup, operations, and storage. After assembly, the hospital is expected to operate autonomously.
This donation was the second of 14 field hospitals with negative pressure isolation capacity that AFRICOM purchased from Alaska Defense. The first hospital was set up outside of Aga Khan University Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya.
For more information about Alaska Defense and our negative pressure isolation facilities, please contact us using the following:
Web: online request form
The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement. U.S. Embassy photo by New York National Guard.