The third world is being ravaged by health problems that would be easily preventable if the basic infrastructure of the affected countries were improved. According to recent reports, 11 million children die every year because of a lack of basic health care, food, sanitation, and clean water.
Populations in many third world countries are quite dispersed, and building hospitals is an expensive and time consuming proposition.
Even if hospitals were built in the main towns and cities, how would those living in more rural areas reach them? Third world countries lack the transport infrastructures that we’re used to, and those in isolated villages are often the ones in the most desperate need.
That’s where aid initiatives such as field hospitals and sanitation projects come in.
The trailer manufacturers that serve the military are able to produce some rugged, reliable, and powerful vehicles that are capable of reaching even the most remote villages in developing countries. Once the field hospital has been deployed, it can run as long as it has a good fuel and water supply. In areas affected by natural disasters, field hospitals can stay in operation for months at a time, staffed round the clock by aid workers and volunteers.
Education and Infrastructure
The goal of most relief operations in the third world is to help the citizens of developing countries help themselves. Relief operations are often run in conjunction with education efforts, or infrastructure efforts. There’s little point providing medical assistance to a village if the people living there do not have a reliable clean water supply.
In Africa, the current focus is on controlling the AIDS epidemic through a focused education program. In Ethiopia, where Trachoma is a massive problem, aid workers focus on improving access to clean water, and encouraging proper hygiene habits in order to reduce the spread of the disease. Each area has its own problems, and relief efforts focus on both prevention and cure.
Access to health care
Once the most pressing crises are over, those living in remote villages face other difficulties. For example, Aboriginal children often suffer from respiratory illnesses, skin infections, and diabetes. All of these issues are treatable, but access to hospitals is difficult for those living in remote villages. This is where field hospitals come into their own, however, trailer manufacturers often ship and donate hospitals, but leave the maintenance of the structures up to the recipients. Longer term aid may be required if the hospitals are to run at full capacity for long enough for them to be truly useful.
The Long Term Solution
Donations can only go so far. In the long term, for developing countries to reach their true potential, some serious investment in infrastructure will be required. Whether that investment comes from within the country, or in the form of external aid, is a major point of debate, but the World Health Organisation is quick to point out that many multinational companies are deeply embedded in Third World economies, and the fates of the two are closely linked.