Proposed Improvements: Health Center Station in DRC
Many communities working through the Tuungane program use their grants to address public health needs. We present four construction options for them: a regional health center, a maternity clinic, a dispensary, and a health center station. The health center station (Poste de Sante) is the smallest and least expensive option. The health programs that come with this construction provides a nurse, a lab technician, and an office manager. The clinic is open during business hours and dispenses prescriptions, lab tests, and referrals to larger health centers. The current design for a health center station provides 4 interior spaces: a waiting room, an office and archive, a consultation room and a treatment room. These spaces are complimented by a modest veranda at the front of the building that serves as an extension of the waiting area. This plan is simple, logically laid out, and “gets the job done.” That’s about it.
Decorative screen walls would use more wood than the original design; and precise measurements for the gravity-fed irrigation system would be needed. However, the amount of concrete and the number of doors and windows would be cut by 30%. Such consolidations of materials and reformatting of the standard plan could bring the cost of a health center station within the financial reach of a single community. I will soon be going to the field to review the existing health station designs and to talk with the local staff members. In the mean time, I have presented these thoughts to my colleagues in the IRC health department and to construction managers from other projects within the Bukavu office. So far, they have been accepted as clear improvements over our standard design. After defining exact material quantities and a budget, the final step will be a formal presentation to the health ministry here in Bukavu for formal approval.