Mobile Water based clinic. Solution for health care on African waterways.

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by PMDT83, Feb 4, 2010.

  1. PMDT83
    Joined: Feb 2010
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    Location: South Africa

    PMDT83 New Member

    I live in South Africa and I have spent quite a large amount of time in rural parts of Africa. As we all know health care is a huge problem in africa due to difficult logistics and poor road conditions. Many people that live in Africa live near a major water way. Congo river, Nile river, Zambezi, Niger, etc.
    I want to come up with a boat that could be used to reach rural areas on the banks of rivers and tributaries in order to provide health care to poor communities. South america and Asia have the same problem. Is there a current design that I can base it on.
    I most of these areas I have seen Aluminum boats used because of shallow draft and light weight allowing for good fuel consumption. I was thinking of basing it on a 6-7m flat hulled aluminum boat and to build from there.
     
  2. haru
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    haru Junior Member

    Well, it's a great idea, but the question is how much equipment does it have to carry and how much space you need to take care of patients. I guess at least one patient.
    Even if it's only for the medical personnel and equipment, it still need to pack more than any ambulance, since it has to be self sufficient for some time.
    So I don't think a small boat will do.

    Amazon Medical Boat
    modular medical equipment
     
  3. PMDT83
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    PMDT83 New Member

    I don't think it should be a people carrier. And not an Ambulance that we can look at at a later stage. I was Thinking of it just being a boat where a doctor and a nurse can go to various villages and do vaccinations and check ups. They same as a mobile clinic that they base on a pick up. Almost like taking a ambulance and removing everything everything medical and putting on a boat. So I think a boat that can carry 1.5 metric tons and maintain a speed of about 30km/h should be enough for the task. The hull however should not sit deeper than 30cm in the water.
     
  4. PMDT83
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    PMDT83 New Member

    If the doctor finds a serious problem with the patient then he should get the patient to a clinic or hospital in the nearest town or city. Its just got to be a base where the doctors can get to the villagers and do the basics for them. Look at Riders for health's concept
     
  5. Marco1
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    Marco1 Senior Member

    The idea of a mobile doctor to reach rural comunities is not new. There are two basic concepts, one is emergency medicine and retrieval of the patient back to a hospital the way the Royal Flying Doctors do in Australia remote outback. Such would be of course inpractical on the water unless the distance is short and there is actualy a hospital to go back to.

    The second is to take a doctor to the patient and that can be done in many different ways, from a rowing boat with one doctor with a handbag of instruments and medicine, to a floating hospital, you choose.

    Brazil has a few of this services going, the link above shows one large boat, that not surprisingly has run out of funds.
    Another is a medical launch service founded by the Adventist Church.
    http://brazilmedicallaunch.com/photos/
    I use to have a partner who was adventist and he use to work on this lauch as a skipper and he told me numerous stories all very positive. Their launches are all small to medium and work on the basis of taking the doctor to the patient and not on the concept of ambulance transport nor floating hospital. A rural doctor by definition must be able to do everything under the sun, from advise on diet to mending an exposed fracture, obstetrics and apendicectomies, to mediate on village quarrels. A local house can quickly be turned into a clinic or even an operation theater, and there is no need to do the floating hospital thing.
     
  6. Marco1
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    Marco1 Senior Member

    If you require a draft of one foot, you are limited to a flat bottom boat and I would say to jet propulsion only.
    There are some outboard who offer jet propulsion.
     
  7. Itchy&Scratchy
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    Itchy&Scratchy Senior Member

    I use to have a cathedral hull , which I used for flyfishing on the rivers in South Africa, really good because of the ability to operate in shallow water and aslo because they generally dont need a massive engine to get them planing.

    I reckon a bigger version of a Boston Whaler, although these have quite a deepish centre hull section as opposed to something like a Dell Quay dory(which we have here in the UK) which has all three hulls of similiar depth.

    Itchy
     
  8. Mark@DSM
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    Mark@DSM New Member

    Mark

    Hi, i read your post and find it quite an interesting concept.
    i work for a naval architecture firm based in south africa,we cater for our african clientele because we understand the dynamics and the challengers africans face in terms of infrastructure.
    if you like we can do a feasibilty study on this idea of a water based medical service.

    let me know how you feel about it and we can take this concept to the next level.

    regards
    Mark Smith.
     
  9. SamSam
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    SamSam Senior Member

    how far away from fuel and supplies will the boat be? Will the dr, nurse and pilot have to live on it , carry their own food? What supplies?
     
  10. haru
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    haru Junior Member

    Fuel is probably the most important issue aside from medical supply.
    I guess the doctor could stay overnight in the village and then move on to the next in the morning. When people are unreachable then they really are. Fuel might not be available out there in the first place. So it should have a lot of fuel. You will have to measure range in terms of travel time rather than actual range since the river ways might be complicated.
     
  11. gp333
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    gp333 Junior Member

    Hi PMDT83,

    I am from one USA non-profit organization.
    We alone go to same idea! We just search web have some other examples of this solution and we find similar medical boat exist in Amazon River (Brazil), http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PM77kfW3Bvc

    and your post :) :
    http://www.boatdesign.net/forums/bo...tion-health-care-african-waterways-31313.html

    As I can see you live in South Africa and we plan open there branch office of our non-profit organization. If you interested work as volunteer (or some not high money compensation job) on same idea and help us locally in Africa.. you can contact me at: gp@f5web.com
     
  12. apex1

    apex1 Guest

    MOBILE WATERBASED CLINIC

    was the header!

    We have done a similar project last year in Asia.

    Add 12 to 15 meter to the design length (and some $$$ accordingly) and it could become a sensible project.

    We ended up at a 19 meter Cat to provide the basic service and adequate accommodation for the med. personnel. (not 5 star)

    Regards
    Richard
     
  13. gp333
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    gp333 Junior Member

    we plan build 20-25 meters waterbased clinic.. but in the Africa. exactly where PMDT83 exist.. because that I post to him
     
  14. aranda1984
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    aranda1984 aranda1984

    There must be some outfit out there, who would finance such a great idea.

    May I put in my two cents worth... (Since I have played with the same idea for quite a while...)

    The way I see it, since you have no clue, where you might end up, what muddy waters you may visit, or what sort of flash flood you might encounter... I suggest twin props that you can swing out of the water! (Enclosed by a wire mash cage to keep away the floating muck that some rivers will throw at you.) I suggest a short keel to protect the props also.
    My idea for such an adventure would be a shallow catamaran about 50 to 60' long.

    Each hull would be about 10:1 L/B ratio. Every 8-10' a water tight bulk head and hardly any superstructure to save on weight.
    Expanding foam filled cavities below water line and in the bow, just to be on the safe side.
    Fine entry bow with flattened out oval in the mid section will give you safe and smooth gliding over the water.
    Very light arched roof over most of the cat with solar cells on top. This would provide you with sufficient power to charge some poly-lithium batteries to keeep the life support system going and some medicine refrigerated or even emergency cruising power, depending on your storage capacity.
    Think of electric heat to make your dinner, to sterilise instruments, to make your own drinking water... (?)

    No frills, since it is a working river boat only, but still, this could provide a modest A/C in both hulls where the sleeping ararangements would be.
    (Radio, GPS, computer, satellite cell phone or even a small TV!)

    The deck is a spartan platform, just enough space to perform some medical procedures (if neccesary) or carry a patient or two.
    Depending on the money available, the deck would be mostly open at front and aft except some mosquito screen walls and this way you would have nature's A/C at your service. Small windows at the sides to take away only minimum from the roof's arch surface...

    Say that the cat is about 20-25' wide.. the roof is about 30-35' long... you could get 7.2 -10.5 KWh of power most of the daylight hours.

    My preffered propulsion in this case, one or two small marine diesel engines or a couple of good/used Wolksvagen diesel engines each driving a 100KW generator.
    (I prefer two engines, if one clunks out, you still can limp home using the other...)
    These generators that I have in mind, are actually PWM motors if you give power to them. The beauty of these: they only weigh about 86 Kg. each.
    On the other hand, you could have direct drive and bypass the generators.

    The ideas are plentiful. Your original intent is extremely praise worthy..

    Take 100 engineers and you will have 100 solutions to this problem.

    I wish you good luck, from the bottom of my hart!
     

  15. apex1

    apex1 Guest

    Aranda

    nice ideas and thoughts.

    Though most of them are not in relation with everyday life.

    The concept of a vessel is the second step anyway. The business concept has to be the first, and that is not here!

    Going to "help" is never a good idea without the knowledge of "how".
    The latter is missing here.


    Regards
    Richard

    That sounds feasible.

    where?
     
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