Project Introduction

In September 2019, Hurricane Dorian devastated the Bahamas, leaving Rand Memorial Hospital in Freeport – the only referral hospital on Grand Bahamas – with very limited surgical capacity. To address this, BHI designed, built and installed a fully-equipped mobile surgical unit housed within a shipping container to improve the ability of Bahamian surgeons to perform safe procedures while full services at Rand Memorial are restored.

Build Health International

Project Information

  • Timeline
    July 2019 - Present
  • Operational Partners
    Direct Relief | The Bahamas Ministry of Health
& Design
& Equip
Build Health International

Project Description

On September 1st, 2019, Hurricane Dorian became the most powerful hurricane to ever hit the Bahamas, completely devastating the nation. It made landfall on Abaco Island as a Category 5 hurricane with gusts up to 220 miles per hour before making its way onto Grand Bahama, where it stalled for over a day. At the request of Direct Relief, and in partnership with the Bahamian Ministry of Health, BHI conducted a post-disaster assessment of several health facilities on Grand Bahama and found that Rand Memorial Hospital had suffered significant damage, with 80% of the hospital inundated with seawater and sewage.

With biomedical equipment destroyed, surgical facilities crippled, and a growing number of residents returning to the island, BHI proposed the design and construction of a mobile surgical unit housed within a shipping container to provide essential surgical services while the hospital was rehabilitated and renovated, and thereafter should the hospital choose.

BUILT TO LAST - The “Container OR” is built from a repurposed shipping container made of 12-gauge steel and painted with a white epoxy paint, which resists rust and reflects the sun’s heat, ensuring that it will last as long as it is needed. The inside of the container is insulated with cell foam covered with fire-retardant sealant and a vapor barrier, providing excellent thermal insulation and a valuable sound barrier. The walls, ceilings, and floor are medical-grade and capable of being washed and sanitized, thereby lowering the risk of nosocomial infection. Installed in July 2020, the Container OR will ensure that dignified, high-quality care remains accessible to the people affected by this natural disaster.