The city has donated a packaged disaster hospital to the Washington-based Pan American Development Foundation to aid earthquake victims in Mexico. The hospital package, valued at $150,000, includes examining tables, cots, laboratory equipment and bandages. It is being transported by rail to Mexico and is expected to arrive there Sunday.
The hospital package is one of an estimated 2,000 assembled and distributed by the federal government in the 1950s to provide emergency health care in case of atomic attack. Most cities that received the packaged hospitals eventually destroyed them because they were becoming obsolete, said Gabriela Goldfarb, projects manager of the health services program at the foundation, a private organization that operates development projects throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. But Monrovia held onto its for 35 years, Fire Chief Mark Foote said. Last summer, the city decided to donate the hospital to the foundation before it became unusable.
"Although much of the equipment and items in the unit are outdated for the technology available in the United States, it's considered state of the art in Latin American and Caribbean countries," a foundation spokesman said. The hospital unit will be set up at a school in Mexico City and will be used to provide medical assistance to quake victims, Goldfarb said.