New Orkidstudio Zambian Project Announced

01st March 2016

Drum Property Group is very proud to support humanitarian design organisation Orkidstudio as they announce their key project for 2016, the redevelopment of a community health centre in Sachibondu, in North West Zambia.

Founded over 45 years ago, Sachibondu Health Centre is located near Mwinilunga, a remote and rural region of North West Zambia, at the upper end of the Copperbelt Region. Each year hundreds of patients come to the Health Centre where they are met by a small team of dedicated nurses and midwives who do all that they can to help.

As the only health centre within 300km, most patients have travelled long distances to reach the Centre, from within Zambia and over the neighbouring borders with Angola and the Democrative Republic of Congo. In the latter in particular, where women are persecuted and have few rights, armed violence a constant threat and many women seek maternity care for pregnancies often caused by rape and abuse.

The Centre provides a wide range of general health care including tuberculosis, malaria and HIV clinics, and also works hard to increase awareness, testing and education in order to reduce the numbers of new infections. Lessons in food nutrition and cookery are also provided to help families overcome malnutrition and improve child care standards. 

The current facilities at the Sachibondu Health Centre are of poor quality and limited space, meaning that the Centre struggles to cope with the increasing numbers of patients arriving each day. With a history spanning more than five decades, development and growth of the centre has always been dictated by need, with infrastructure provision being sought locally and with little or no design input.

In remote areas such as this, resources are scarce and buildings are typically inadequately ventilated and suffer from low light levels, even during the middle of the day. These environments can perpetuate the spread of infection and disease, but there are ways that Orkidstudio can change this.

Better design and innovative approaches to basic materials and local building methods can make a huge impact on the health and well-being of patients. By increasing internal air-change rates passively and introducing effective and controllable natural ventilation, Orkidstudio can reduce health risks. Effective day light strategies can also reduce the reliance on electricity, which is often inaccessible, and helps provide more enjoyable and usable spaces.

Orkidstudio are working closely with Sachibondu to develop a masterplan and development strategy for the Centre, incorporating patient wards, clinical and testing facilities, staff housing and even the renovation of a set of old school buildings to provide education for local children and for the provision of healthcare training and awareness. With the Support of Drum, Orkidstudio will be providing design and construction services, with the project scheduled to go on site in July 2016, and they will be working on an ongoing basis with Sachibondu to provide significantly improved healthcare facilities.

Drum Property Group supports Orkidstudio projects throughout the world. Further updates on future projects supported by Drum will be made available here, or please visit www.orkidstudio.co.uk to find out more about the charity and the work they do.