Surgical Access for All
Today an 18 year old woman in a rural village in India is experiencing an obstructed labor, but cannot travel 90 miles to the nearest urban surgical facility for a Caesarean section birth. She will lose her un-born child and her own life, leaving her family without a care giver, and thus diminishing many lives in her community. Multiply this incident by tens of thousands to begin to feel the weight of this tragic loss of life and community capacity due to lack of access to affordable safe surgical and anesthesia care throughout the world.
More than 5 billion people in the world have no access to life – saving affordable surgical and anesthesia care. In Low and Moderate Income Countries (LMIC) nine of ten people have no access to basic surgery. In 2010, an estimated 16.9 million lives (32.9% of all deaths worldwide) were lost from common conditions needing surgical care such as obstructed labor, fractures, and appendicitis. Obstetric surgeries are one of the most prevalent conditions which remain untreated by surgery.
This lack of access to surgical care also leads to a dramatic number of disabilities. Additionally, about 81 million people incur catastrophic expenditures each year from the cost of surgical care. As a result of these realities, over $12 trillion in productivity and economic development will be lost globally between 2015 and 2030 if this lack of access continues.
The Lancet Commissions 2015 Report “Global Surgery 2030”* estimates that 143 million additional surgical procedures are needed in Low and Moderate Income Countries each year to save lives and prevent disabilities. To that end, the authors of Lancet Report have established a goal of 5,000 surgical procedures and 20 physicians per 100,000 population as a minimum threshold for recorded surgeries by 2030.*
The Darwin Project Inc.’s transportable Family Surgical Clinic (FSC) will be a central part of the solution to this global health crisis. The FSC is an affordable, sterile and self-contained state of the art Surgical Clinic, rapidly deployable to anywhere needed in the world. When tied to the local medical infrastructure, the FSC not only will greatly reduce the number of fatalities and disabilities in a community, but also will promote economic stability through helping people lead healthier & more productive lives.
The Surgical Clinic is a modular self-contained surgical unit composed of three ISO steel shipping containers retrofitted into well-equipped rooms for performing surgery and caring for surgical patients in a sterile and safe environment. The FSC is designed to meet World Health Organization (WHO) standards for surgical and anesthesia care.
The containers are pre-fitted with eight major supply systems: water storage & a filter system for pre-treating water; air conditioning & HEPA air filtering; lighting; ramp and stair access/egress system; state-of-the-art medical instrumentation; life/safety; sterilization system; and, electrical/power micro-grid system. A series of solar panels is attached to the roof of the containers, providing power and energy storage. A year’s supply of basic consumable materials also is included in the containers.
The consistency with WHO standards, the sterilization system, modular components, structural integrity, integrated systems, ease of deployment and low cost make the FSC a preferred new surgical adjunct to an established health center or replacement of an existing sub-standard surgical facility.
We recognize that there are four other integral components needed for scaling up access to safe surgery and anesthesia care world-wide. The Darwin Project is proposing to provide the Family Surgical Clinic. The other components must become the task of the partnering organizations and sponsoring country
skilled surgical/medical team
community outreach and support
supply chain of consumable materials
equipment repair and/or replacement system
The FSC is designed with all of these components in mind. Most importantly, the design has been guided by our core team of highly skilled surgeons from Boston’s Beth Israel, Children’s, and Brigham and Women’s Hospitals. Our team also includes experienced mechanical and electrical engineers, and hospital design & construction experts.