Friday, January 22, 2010

Containers To Clinics

As a young mate standing watch, sailing from one waterfront festival to another, I would see these things on container ships.
Huge honking container ships. Ships that didn't usually notice me whether I was on a Port-A-Potty 35 or a 300-foot full-rigged TallShip™ because they were THAT big and occupied in getting big metal boxes full of extrinsic crap to some other port.
Since it costs money to move containers, the shipping companies tend to stack up the empty ones and pretty much forget about them because China makes more extrinsic crap and fills new ISO shipping containers. Surplus containers are used in truly clever ways by truly clever people in countries like Australia and Japan, where they turn them into office buildings and performance spaces and museums.
In America, we like things that are new. It doesn't matter what, just as long as they're new. You may recall the recent Massachusetts Senatorial election.
The idea of using a shipping container as a health clinic would never have ever occurred to many of us. Well, the idea may have occurred, but was most likely followed by an emphatic and resounding "Ewww!" I know people who develop clinics, and if they didn't employ at least 8000 people using brand new materials and shut down traffic on a main thoroughfare for several months, they would feel that they just weren't trying hard enough.
Remember when I was complaining about the Swamper next door and that "re-used" shipping container?

NOT a thoughtful re-use. I embrace any circumstance that provides me the opportunity to demonstrate my disdain for pretentious "Green" bravura. So, of course, I'm going to point out the dismaying filth in a scrap-hoarding rustic's pasture while celebrating the actual real-world accomplishments of someone with a more global solution than merely "not mowing the lawn so there's more weeds to produce more oxygen."C2CContainers to Clinics is an organization that plans to turn International Standard Containers into transportable health facilities that can be shipped to and set up in developing nations to provide health care in rural areas.
I enjoy, and benefit from, reading "mission statements." Before donating to a charity, one really should see what they legally tell the government that they're up to. (Many's the time that I've nearly pulled the negotiable instrument out of the checkbook only to find the words "bipartisan" or "faith-based" somewhere in the online ramblings of the Development Director.)

Containers to Clinics (C2C) is a non-profit, charitable initiative that seeks to improve the health of women and children by providing access to primary healthcare through networks of converted shipping container clinics.
Clinics are staffed by local health professionals in-country. C2C's approach to rural medical care is designed to strengthen the entire healthcare system of a country from the bottom up by building capacity to treat illness locally. C2C clinics focus on improving the lives of women and children through vaccinations, safe pregnancy and delivery, and health education. C2C's model allows for standard design and operations and for replication across regions.
Also, if it keeps these guys from working on my house, my ample donation will be forthcoming. I have no doubt that they'll get better at this...

(Special Tip Of The Tricorn to Chuck for pointing this out!)

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