Four Wheels for Access in Medical Deserts
Imagine the scenario. A child is sick in rural Morocco. He is missing school and taking his mother away from the rest of the family. The hospital is far and travel expensive. How can his mother access care? Or, a rural farmer with a medical condition cannot leave his responsibilities. Who would tend his animals on a 3-hour trip to the city?
Medtrucks founder Anass El Hilal, Morocco, believes he can provide hospital care in medical deserts. A medical desert is “a populated region more than 60 minutes away from the nearest acute-care hospital.” 1 . The system works like this: First, Medtrucks are deployed to identify the needs of rural populations. The child and the farmer, for example, would be triaged and documented. Second, Medtrucks staff identify the best course of action. Maybe an x-ray and medicine for the child and referring the man to a doctor. Third, and ideally, Medtrucks are equipped to provide on-site, mobile care with well-equipped trucks, a hospital on wheels. The child is treated and sent home on the spot. Fourth, Medtrucks staff provide follow-up support services for treated patients.
Available technologies like geotagging and innovative and portable medical technologies eliminate barriers to medical care for those many. Anass is eager to get started. African Entrepreneurship Award funding and other investors mean that Medtrucks will soon be deployed.