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
Log in or register FREE to read the rest
This story is Premium Content and is only available to registered users. Please log in at the top of the page to view the full text.
If you don't already have an account, please register with us completely free of charge.