CUBE: THE BIOSECURE EMERGENCY CARE UNIT
From 2014 to 2016, West Africa experienced the largest outbreak of Ebola ever recorded, which claimed more than 11,000 lives.
Ebola crossed borders and became a global crisis, from the outbreak’s epicenter in West Africa (Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone), with isolated cases spreading to neighboring countries (Mali, Senegal, Nigeria) as well as to Europe (Great Britain, Italy, Spain) and to the United States.
In 2014, faced with the scale of the crisis, ALIMA’s teams encountered numerous constraints in the Ebola treatment centers (ETCs). They made several observations:
- The centers were expensive and took a long time to deploy.
- Patient treatment required a large amount of qualified and experienced health workers and medical resources.
- Health center operations were not conducive to effective case monitoring.
- Sick patients were separated from their family and their community and were often reticent to seek treatment.
In 2014 ALIMA intervened to respond to the Ebola epidemic in Guinea by:
- building an Ebola treatment center;
- providing quality medical assistance;
- training Guinean medical personnel;
- developing research projects on new treatment protocols (medicine) and in participating in clinical vaccine trials.
The following year, ALIMA received first prize of the European Union Health Award for making a “notable difference in fighting Ebola.”
Introducing the CUBE
Drawing from lessons learned in the aftermath of the epidemic, ALIMA and its partner Securotec developed the CUBE, the Biosecure Emergency Care Unit for Outbreaks. The CUBE is a self-contained and easily transportable system for outbreaks of highly-infectious disease.
The CUBE’s main advantage is that the health workers no longer need personal protective equipment (PPE) – the protection is centered on the patient. With its transparent walls and external arm entries, medical teams, with minimal training, can comfortably ensure a continuous monitoring of an infected patient, checking vitals, administering solutes and adapting treatment from the exterior, all while reducing the risk of contamination. The patient also benefits from the transparent walls which allow them to remain in contact with the outside, including family members, without the risk of contamination.
- Small: 9m2 surface per unit
- Easily transportable: 290 kg per unit
- Fast: Can be deployed within 72 hours from the initial alert of outbreak, and set up in 90 minutes.
- Reusable: up to 10 times
- Inexpensive: Reduces the cost of intervention by 75%
- Modular: Individual units can be combined
- Adaptable: Can be adapted to any context, and assembled indoors or outdoors
- Individualized medical care
- Secure: Health workers benefit from biosafety level 4 protection
- Nearly 80% of medical acts can be performed from the exterior, in a “Low Risk” setting
- Transparent: The transparent walls allows for continuous patient monitoring, communication between health worker and patient, contact with family members
- Comfort: Includes air conditioning and air filtration.
OTHER OPTIONS :
- Laboratory: The CUBE can be used as a P4 level laboratory for diagnostics and research
- Surgery: Can be used for surgical acts
Dr. Richard Kojan, President of ALIMA, received the Reach Award “Game Changing Innovator”.