CINTERANDES Mobile Surgery Unit
Country of Operation
Target income level
- Bottom 20%
- Lower-middle income (20-40%)
SummaryFor rural populations in Ecuador the costs of transportation, lodging in the city, long lines at the hospital, and leaving homes, crops and animals unattended made seeing to health problems requiring surgical intervention very complicated. In 1994 CINTERANDES began offering a mobile operating room b
Key program components
Mobile Surgery Unit
CINTERANDES uses a 24 foot Isuzu van in which an operating room and a preparation room have been installed. While a larger vehicle would have been useful for added space, it would have been difficult to drive in winding and narrow Andean roads.
The operating room contains basic ssurgical and anesthetic equipment, including a laparoscopic tower. Medicine and surgical supply compartments are built into the walls of the room. The mobile unit also contains a scrubbing sink and autoclave.
Patients who are in need of surgical intervention are reffered by rural doctors who have conducted the first level of screening. After a rural doctor has selected a group of patients in need of surgery, as well as picked a surgeon and anesthestiologist from the CINTERANDES Foundation, the Mobile Unit travels to the location for a preoperative consultation. During this time a preoperative consultation in conducted, in which the history and physical examination of patients is carried out.
On the day of operation the MSU is cleaned and sterilized. Patients are interviewed and examined to ensure they have not developed additional pathologies, such as respiratory or intestinal infections. Patients are left in the care of the olcal medical team, however, CINTERANDES surgeons and anesthesiologists remain avialable by phone for consultations and visits if necessary. Patients are tele-interviewed after one week, one month, six months and one year.
CINTERANDES also conducts a teaching program for medical and nursing students and surgical and anesthesiology residents. They are affiliated with the University of Cuenca-Ecuador and the University of Azuay-Ecuador. The program gives residents and students practical experience in humanitarian surgery, preoperative and postoperative care, management of common surgical pathologies, operating room behavior, primary care and family medicine.