SECURE Webinar 14: The Impact of Climate Change on Healthcare: Building Resilience of Vulnerable Populations with Mobile Health Facilities

Series: ADB's SECURE Webinar Series

SECURE Webinar 14: The Impact of Climate Change on Healthcare: Building Resilience of Vulnerable Populations with Mobile Health Facilities

23 May 2024

The World Health Organization (WHO) predicted that climate change would directly contribute to humanitarian emergencies resulting from the increased scale, frequency, and intensity of heatwaves, wildfires, floods, tropical storms, and hurricanes. Research showed that 3.6 billion people lived in areas highly susceptible to climate change. Between 2030 and 2050, climate change was expected to cause approximately 250,000 additional deaths per year from undernutrition, malaria, diarrhea, and heat stress.

Geographical areas with weak health infrastructure—mostly in developing countries and small island developing states—endured the harshest health impacts. In vulnerable regions, the death rate from extreme weather events in the last decade was 151 times higher than in less vulnerable ones. These areas were the least able to cope without assistance to prepare and respond.

Building resilience through mobile health infrastructure was essential to improving the health outcomes of vulnerable populations. Health infrastructure systems that were rapidly deployed and highly mobile could offer rapid treatment, prolonged clinical care, and recovery.

With over 30 years of experience in mobile field hospital infrastructure, Saab offered solutions that could mitigate some of the health impacts of climate change. Their approach emphasized maximum mobility, such as mounting medical containers on transport platforms. They also prioritized equipping clinicians with the necessary training and medical supplies for triage, resuscitation, primary healthcare, infection control, and essential surgery—all crucial components of effective medical support.

Mobile health infrastructure could also decentralize health responsibilities from urban centers to support emergency evacuation during disaster management. Physical delivery of mobile medical infrastructure such as multifunctional health care clinics, mobile triage, and surgery, blood donation centers, laboratories, dialysis facilities, and vaccination clinics offered enhanced regional capabilities, allowing for the prioritization of health areas related to childcare, maternal health, family planning, aged care, and chronic and infectious disease management.

The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the need for and importance of a robust and continuous supply chain, high throughput diagnostic testing capability, and high infection control in all healthcare and public facilities. Using mobile health infrastructure systems to support post-pandemic preparedness programs offered modular and scalable capability. These included isolation wards for infection control with HEPA-filtered ventilation air systems, negative pressure rooms, and point-of-care testing laboratories for rapid diagnosis. For vulnerable populations in developing countries, Saab’s mobile medical infrastructure systems helped improve infectious disease outbreaks and the health security of civilians.

This webinar investigated options for mobile health infrastructure systems to build resilience in vulnerable populations.

Program and Learning Materials: 
Date Session / Activity Presentation Material Speaker(s)
23 May 2024 Opening Welcome Remarks and Overview of the Webinar Anders Dahl
23 May 2024 Presentation The Impact of Climate Change on Healthcare: Building Resilience of Vulnerable Populations with Mobile Health Facilities
This presentation gives an overview of SAAB's mobile health infrastructure systems for vulnerable populations.
Anders Dahl, Amany Wahba
23 May 2024 Open Forum Questions and Answers Rikard Elfving
23 May 2024 Closing Closing Remarks Eduardo Banzon


The views expressed on this website are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) or its Board of Governors or the governments they represent. ADB does not guarantee the accuracy of the data included in this publication and accepts no responsibility for any consequence of their use. By making any designation of or reference to a particular territory or geographic area, or by using the term “country” in this document, ADB does not intend to make any judgments as to the legal or other status of any territory or area.