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Flexible healthcare models for sub-Saharan Africa

Polly Barker, director and Healthcare lead at independent architectural, design, and planning practice, tp bennett, discusses how, over the past 11 years, the business has worked on a number of hospitals across sub-Saharan Africa for NMS Infrastructure, ‘developing a flexible, adaptable, and low-impact model for delivering much-needed district and clinic hospitals across several countries’.

The hospitals we are delivering in Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Zambia, and Gambia, are being built in response to the demand for quality, accessible healthcare in sub-Saharan Africa. A World Health Organization report, published in 2007, estimated that between 550,000 and 650,000 extra beds were needed across sub-Saharan Africa to meet the expected ‘healthcare gap’. This needs to be addressed. Thanks to increasingly buoyant economies, African governments feel empowered to tackle the issue head on with hospital building programmes. However, such activity takes time; time to organise and time to deliver.  

In Ghana, spending on healthcare in rural areas is only now starting to close a gap which has existed between the existing healthcare estate and the needs of the population, nearly three quarters (70%) of whom live in communities that are over five kilometres from the nearest healthcare facility. There is also a recognition that good healthcare facilities could boost tourism. A current hospital project in Zimbabwe has been driven by this. Some  of the airline companies will not commit to scheduling flights into an airport unless there is a hospital of reasonable size and facilities within a nearby radius.

Impact on life expectancy

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Upcoming Events

Futurebuild 2024

ExCeL, London
5th - 7th March 2024

The Fire Safety Event 2024

National Exhibition Centre (NEC), Birmingham
30th April - 2 May 2024

Wales regional conference, exhibition and awards dinner 2024

International Conference Centre (ICC) Newport
28th - 29th May 2024

NAHFO National Conference 2024

Crowne Plaza Newcastle Upon Tyne
3rd - 5th June 2024

Design in Mental Health 2024

Manchester Central
4th - 5th June 2024

InstallerSHOW 2024

National Exhibition Centre (NEC), Birmingham
25th - 27th June

Access the latest issue of Health Estate Journal on your mobile device together with an archive of back issues.

Download the FREE Health Estate Journal app from your device's App store

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