In a pioneering step toward enhancing disaster response capabilities, India has unveiled the world’s first portable disaster hospital, the Aarogya Maitri Cube. This innovative facility is a crucial component of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious “Project BHISHM” (Bharat Health Initiative for Sahyog Hita and Maitri), which was unveiled in February 2022. The official inauguration took place at the MedTech Expo held in Gandhinagar, Gujarat.
At the core of this groundbreaking disaster hospital are 72 modular cubes, each containing a wide array of essential equipment and supplies. Among these cubes are fully equipped operation theaters, mini-ICUs, ventilators, blood test equipment, X-ray machines, cooking stations, provisions for food and water, shelter, power generators, and more. These ingeniously designed cubes are poised to deliver critical medical care and humanitarian assistance in the aftermath of natural disasters and humanitarian crises.
One of the most striking features of the Aarogya Maitri Cube is its capability to address a broad spectrum of severe injuries. It can handle up to 40 bullet injuries, 25 major burns, approximately 10 head injuries, long limb fractures, spinal injuries, chest injuries, and spinal fractures. This versatility makes the disaster hospital a lifeline for survivors in challenging conditions.
The modular design of the Aarogya Maitri Cube enhances its adaptability and efficiency during disaster response missions. The 72 cubes can be combined to create a specialized cage that accommodates 36 mini-cubes. These mini-cubes are self-sufficient and contain almost everything necessary for the survival of 100 survivors for up to 48 hours. Impressively, there are two of these cages, referred to as master cubes, which can be joined together to support up to 200 survivors.
Inspired by the concept of the “Rubik’s Cube,” these cubes are lightweight, each weighing less than 20 kilograms. Their portability enables manual transportation for distances of up to one kilometer, facilitating rapid deployment to disaster-stricken areas.
Each master cube, consisting of 36 mini-cubes, has a total weight of less than 750 kilograms. When two of these master cubes are combined, they transform into a mobile hospital capable of conducting life-saving surgeries and providing comprehensive medical care. This remarkable flexibility ensures that the Aarogya Maitri Cube can adapt to the unique requirements of each disaster scenario, delivering critical care precisely where it is needed most.
To streamline the operation of all 72 cubes seamlessly, a tablet-based application has been developed. Additionally, the disaster hospital kit includes a portable generator, offering both traditional and solar panel-based options, ensuring a reliable power supply for the entire setup. Furthermore, all the equipment is rechargeable, promoting sustainability in disaster relief operations.
The Aarogya Maitri Cube represents a remarkable leap in disaster response capabilities and underscores India’s commitment to addressing humanitarian challenges with innovation and efficiency. This pioneering facility has the potential to save countless lives in the wake of disasters and crises, both within India and internationally.