Several residential districts in the Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro were left devastated after heavy rains slammed the country’s south-eastern region this November. Thousands of homes were destroyed and millions more were left without power or water.

With many residents in desperate need of medical care, Brazilian civilian defence forces quickly went into action. In Belford Roxo, a town 45 outside of Rio de Janeiro’s metro area, authorities set up two of DHS Systems’ 442 square foot deployable rapidly assembly shelter (DRASH) TMSS medium soft-walled shelter systems as a medical clinic. Doctors and nurses used the facility, which was equipped with power and air conditioning, to treat people for heat stroke, dehydration, cuts and sprains, as well as administer hundreds of vaccinations.

The TMSS systems are part of two mobile field hospitals purchased from DHS Systems this past summer. Though this was the first time authorities deployed any of their equipment during a real-life crisis, DRASH representatives were available to assist with response efforts. After arriving in Brazil on 16 November, DRASH representatives performed field maintenance to ensure the systems were set up correctly. Over the next several days they continued to visit the clinic to refuel the systems’ generators and teach personnel how to operate the systems from the field.

“The doctors and nurses we worked with were extremely pleased to have the facilities,” says DRASH representative Mark Tallo. “In rural areas such as Belford Roxo, many of the roads are extremely narrow and unpaved, which makes transporting patients a colossal undertaking. The TMSS systems allowed doctors to treat patients in the field in an aseptic environment that came complete with hardened flooring, environmental control and power.”

Medical personnel treated nearly 10,000 people inside the medical clinic, which remained set up in Belford Roxo for a week.