U.S. AFRICOM Provides Field Hospitals to African Nations, Aiding in COVID-19 Treatment Efforts
- May 1, 2022
- Category: Alaska ECU®, Medical Shelters and Mobile Field Hospitals, Military, Military Shelter Systems
Alaska Defense™ (Alaska), formerly the Military Division of Alaska Structures, Inc., 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 initial field hospital installation in May of 2021. A second field hospital was donated in July of 2022. Army General and AFRICOM’s commander Stephen Townsend attended the first mobile field hospital inauguration. Djibouti’s U.S. Ambassador Jonathan Pratt was present at both ceremonies and stated, “We are proud to work side by side, every day, with our Djiboutian partners and colleagues to ensure that our contributions to health care, job creation, education and security are working for the benefit of all Djiboutians.” Also in attendance were Dr. Ahmed Robleh Adbilleh, Djibouti’s Minister of Health and Major General Shawley of the Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa. The mobile field hospitals are part of a multimillion-dollar donation from the U.S. Government for COVID-19 related facilities and assistance.
| 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.