Build Health International

Project Introduction

In an effort to provide the tools and facilities to combat inequities in maternal health outcomes in sub-Saharan Africa, Build Health International pitched the idea of a birthing center prototype to the Gould Family Foundation. The prototype uses sustainable materials, vernacular construction, and local skills to set the standard for birthing facilities in Jinja, Uganda.

Build Health International

Project Information

  • Square Feet
    4,800 SF
  • Timeline
    February, 2017 - June, 2017
  • Operational Partners
    Gould Family Foundation
Plan
& Design
Build Health International

Project Description

The World Health Organization reported in 2013 that 289,000 women worldwide died during pregnancy or childbirth, and of those deaths 62% occurred in sub-Saharan Africa. This is due in part to generally dilapidated and insufficient facilities. In an effort to provide the tools and facilities to combat this inequality Build Health International pitched the idea of a birthing center prototype to the Gould Family Foundation. The prototype would be a design to set the standard for birthing facilities in Jinja Uganda.

BHI’s design incorporated smaller, affordable, adaptable, and scalable facilities in the hopes of this model being replicated across rural areas of sub-Saharan Africa. With lessons learned from other Ugandan Maternal centers, the design focused on using passive ventilation and lighting strategies, local materials and skills, and considering the community education and gathering places in the layout. BHI recognized that in rural areas, health - especially birth - is a family affair and included flexible gathering spaces that could also be used as meeting spaces, outdoor breakout spaces, and arrival spaces. Another essential aspect of this successful prototype is the inclusion of vernacular construction methods for easy replication and for maximizing sustainable opportunities such as rooftop water and solar harvesting and building walls wither local materials with insulating properties. “In the end,” says co-founder Jim Ansara, “our prototype set the standard for what constitutes an adequate facility that can provide basic maternal and neonatal services.”

Project Information

Major Funding Partners