Skip to main content

You are here

Invest. Test. Treat.

In order to go where others don't, we need to be innovative

Mobile unit surgical trailer (MUST)

Médecins Sans Frontières has developed the mobile unit surgical trailer to operate as a fully functioning mobile surgical facility that can be deployed rapidly during conflicts and natural disasters.

The MUST is in fact multiple containers—a set of five, incorporating an operating theatre, a recovery room and intensive care unit, a sterilisation room, a pharmacy and a storeroom for logistical equipment. Together they enable an MSF team located close to the frontline, or in the middle of an emergency setting, to conduct 100 surgeries without the need to bring in more supplies. 

The unit was used for the first time in Mosul, Iraq, where it allowed our teams to conduct lifesaving war trauma surgery in hygienic and temperature-controlled conditions.

Pictured above, the MUST under construction in the Netherlands.  The unit was then transported to Iraq and set up in a village south of Mosul.  The final picture shows the surgical team preparing to operate on an injured child. 

Inflatable hospitals 

In the first decade of the 21st century a modular hospital kit was tested and developed in emergency settings. These kits enabled our teams to create an entire field hospital inside inflatable tents. 
 
These innovative structures were used to treat patients in the aftermath of natural disasters in countries like Haiti, Philippines and Nepal, and in war zones in countries like Yemen and Syria.
The tents are called 'inflatable' because they are made up of arches, which once inflated create the structure of the building. Made of weather-proof material the structure is quick and easy to set up and light for transportation. 
 
When used as a hospital ward, one tent can provide between 16 and 20 beds. 
 
Innovation and new technology like the MUST and inflatable hospitals allow us to go where others don't and provide expert medical care to people in need.