Basic Health Clinic

Stewart Gray
Image: Stewart Gray

In a fixed location, the basic health clinic has the capacity to serve a population of 20,000 to 30,000. It has the ability to treat 50 to 200 patients per day. If needed, the clinic has overnight ward capacity for 20 patients.

Deployment layout for fixed location basic health clinic

1. Gate
2. 4x4 all terrain vehicle
3. 4X4 pickup
4. Waiting area and patient registry
5. Outpatient unit
6. Maternity clinic
7. Maternity ward
8. Overnight ward unit, if needed
9. Latrine
10. Medical warehouse
11. Administration, incl. communication and data traffic
12. Workshop, general stockroom and technical depot
13. Communication antenna
14. Generators
15. Personnel accommodation area
16. Shower
17. Sauna
18. Kitchen

Medical Warehouse tent

1. Field pharmacist’ working area
2. Medicine, treatment accessories, tubes, bandages, syringes etc.
3. Tarpaulins
4. Blankets
5. Infusion fluids and other medical fluids
6. Medical equipment

All medicine, intravenous fluids and accessories for examination and treatment are packed into aluminium or cardboard boxes colour-coded for logical and easy usability in a field environment. When turned on its side, the lid of each Finnish Red Cross ERU aluminium box can be opened and turned into a small table. Internal compartment structure of the aluminium box becomes a shelf-system when the box is turned sideways. A field pharmacist and two local staff work in the medical warehouse tent.

In a fixed location, the basic health clinic has the capacity to serve a population of 20,000 to 30,000. It has the ability to treat 50 to 200 patients per day. If needed, the clinic has overnight ward capacity for 20 patients.

A mobile health clinic typically operates on a sparsely populated area with 10,000 to 20,000 inhabitants. Mobile clinic has no ward capacity at all.

Basic health clinic is deployed when an area, usually following a nature disaster or an epidemic, no longer offers adequate basic-level health services to its population. Basic health clinic offers outpatient services and, when needed, refers patients to hospitals for further treatment.

A mobile health clinic adapts its functions to local needs. It transforms itself into one, two or three mobile units which move around in the area setting up a clinic for shorter or longer periods of time, usually serving one or two locations per day. A mobile unit offers basic curative and preventive health care and health education.

A fixed location basic health clinic offers first aid services, prevention and treatment of infectious and/or tropical diseases, post-natal mother-and-child services and vaccinations, antenatal and childbirth services and general health advice and education. Basic health clinic charts the health and nutrition situation of its target population. In connection with epidemics, it dispenses preventive and treatment medicine.

Staffing of fixed location basic health clinic

  • 1 Team Leader
  • 2 General practitioners
  • 2-4 Nurses (one of which is a midwife)
  • 1 Administration delegate
  • 1 Information delegate
  • 2 Technical delegates (specialities: water and sanitation, IT/electricity plus both with strong generalist capabilities)
  • In addition, up to 20 local staff

If the health clinic is mobile, up to five nurses are needed, of which one is a midwife.

Basic health clinic weighs app. 20,000 kilos and requires the transport capacity of 2 semi-trailer trucks. One regular freight plane is needed to dispatch the clinic to its location by air freight.

Setting up a fixed location basic health clinic requires a minimum of 1.000 to 1.500 square metres of suitable land.

Deployments of Finnish Red Cross basic health clinic (by 1.6.2011):

 

  • 1999 Two basic health clinics to Albania in connection with the summer 1999 Kosovo refugee crisis.
  • 2004 Basic health clinic to Pottuville, Sri Lanka, in connection with the December 26th 2004 tsunami.
  • 2005 Basic health clinic to Patikka, Kashmir, Pakistan, for ICRC use, in connection with October 8th 2005 earthquake.
  • 2006 Three mobile basic health clinics to Kenya, in connection with the autumn 2006 floods. 2007 Two mobile health clinics to Sindh, Pakistan in connection with the summer 2007 floods.
  • 2008 Mobile basic health clinic to Mutare, Zimbabwe, in connection with the 2008-2009 cholera epidemics.
  • 2010 Mobile health clinic to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, in connection with the January 12th 2010 earthquake.