The Gould Family Foundation (GFF) is dedicated to reducing neonatal and maternal mortality rates and improving the quality of healthcare available at rural clinics and hospitals in sub-Saharan Africa. To aid community-based, non-profit “grassroots” health organizations, GFF funded the design of an open-source prototype for a Mother & Child Health Post. The goal of the Health Post is to provide a free and accessible document to local community health teams so they may hire a local team to adapt and construct the facility for their site. The prototype is designed with sustainable and vernacular traditions to ensure they are easily erectable by local teams and provide quality care for women and children. The document outlines design considerations and best practices for site strategies, spatial adjacencies, and material selection, alongside alternate module designs to aid in customization. Designed around a courtyard for community gatherings, the health post offers privacy for clinical spaces and flexibility to enlarge or expand the design if the Post needs to serve more patients.
Sub Saharan African Birth Centers
Gould Family Foundation
Architecture, Prototype Design
Gould Family Foundation Dandelion Africa Wandikweza
The Mother and Child Health Post addresses environmental comfort and includes sustainable features such as natural lighting, passive ventilation, solar panels, and rainwater collection. To ensure environmental considerations are a priority, the design package outlines siting considerations such as predominant wind direction, solar path, water usage, vegetation, and accessibility.
GFF and Adaptiv engaged members of grassroots community health organizations working on the ground in Kenya and Malawi for input on the clinical program, capacity, layout, and ancillary space needs. Their working experience is valuable in ensuring the design is functional, appropriate, and implementable. The community health teams were critical in identifying ancillary spaces such as the kitchen and the guardian shelter, as necessities that will support the patients, and families seeking services at the Health Post.
The prototype is an open-source document and is meant to be used as a tool in aiding the design process. Local teams will modify the provided documents to adequately serve the site and its healthcare needs. By addressing many of the common design and construction issues seen in rural health facilities in rural health facilities, the prototype aims to design right from the start.
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