Next week, shipping containers will arrive in Haiti, as they do every day. But in this case, one of the containers won’t arrive carrying cargo: It’s a new mini-clinic for patients in the disaster-struck nation.
“Shipping containers make perfect clinics,” explains Elizabeth Sheehan, Director of Containers to Clinics, the Massachusetts-based organization behind the Haiti pop-up clinic. “They’re easy to wash off and they don’t rot in humid climates. There are 10 million shipping containers that are not being used around the world.”
Containers to Clinics’ new Port-au-Prince clinic consists of two medium-sized shipping containers. One consists of two examination rooms, while the other one has a laboratory and pharmacy. “This will improve access to health care,” says Sheehan. “A container can be set up anywhere.”
Containers may, in fact, be Planet Earth’s trendiest construction unit. Companies use the lowly shipping tool for pop-up restaurants and hotels.
But though container-clinics can receive 100 patients per day, the delivery won’t solve Haiti’s health care needs. According to UNICEF, 60% of Haitians lack access to basic care.