MediCart Project

Stopping the next global epidemic by treating the source

The ITC MediCart is the world’s first fully self-contained human-transportable medical clinic designed to facilitate the delivery of primary health care in rural locations across Africa. It is light weight, easily transportable, self-contained and contains basic diagnostic and tele-medicine tools.

Project Overview

The ITC has designed a fully portable medical clinic designed to work in some of the most inaccessible conditions in Africa (the “MediCart”). The MediCart is self-powered (solar and battery), has its own sterilisation equipment, own patient bed and seating for examinations, can accommodate one nurse/clinician with up to two patients at a time in complete privacy; and can be easily towed virtually anywhere using a bicycle or motorbike. The MediCart contains the basic layout of a clinic and also has it has its own telecommunications systems and computers which can be connected via GSM/Mobile Internet and/or radio in the case of requiring more advanced services of a remote doctor / real-time support from a local hospital. The MediCart is human-powered, can be taken “off-road”, is light-weight (less than 60 kilograms), yet can be folded out into a 9 foot long medical clinic which can be set up within 15 minutes – virtually anywhere.

The ITC is currently finalising discussions with several delivery partners in countries across Africa to pilot the MediCart as a method of delivering primary health care services to hundreds of rural communities who do not currently have any access to health local services.

ITC MediCart

ITC MediCart

Why is the ITC MediCart Project Important?

Rural communities are among the most disadvantaged in terms of accessing quality health care. The mis-distribution of health workers between urban and rural areas is a policy concern in virtually all countries. It prevents equitable access to health services, can contribute to increased health-care costs and under-utilisation of health professional skills in urban areas, and creates an ongoing cycle of poverty (and emigration).

  • The lack of primary health care in rural villages across Africa is bringing major diseases to towns and cities.
  • Outbreaks whose original source is found to be zoonoses (diseases transmitted from animals to humans – e.g. mosquitoes, bats, rats, chickens, pigs, monkeys etc.) are becoming more common.
  • Well-known zoonoses include ebola, swine flu, bird flu, rabies, the bubonic plague, salmonella, tetanus, leptospirosis (leprosy), shigellosis, tuberculosis, melioidosis, herpesvirus, viral hemorrhagic fever, viral hepatitis, toxoplasmosis and many more. In fact, Zoonoses represents 75{bfa08a400c7550404055ff04715e84c9172815d33c25eb3b84e230636ecdc007} of all emerging pathogens, yet almost nothing is done to stop these at the source – in rural communities.
  • In the absence of local health care professionals, villagers often need to travel for many days to the nearest clinic. When an outbreak occurs there is often a poor flow of information about who is infected and whom they might have exposed. It is not until a disease reaches the highly-populated cities that it catches the attention of medical professionals – and by then the epidemic is often already out of control.

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