Improving access to healthcare in remote villages
The design of Majimoto dispensary has been inspired by recent research conducted in the village
regarding health care facilities and evolution of construction technologies in this area. Majimoto is a village located in the Southern part of the Arusha region.
The climate in this area is dry for 60% of the year. The closest dispensary is about 3km from the village and the only transport is oxen cart and recently motorcycles. This has further encouraged the villagers to prefer traditional doctors and midwives over hospitalized medical care. Delivery complications and unhygienic environments have been observed to claim mother's and children’s life during childbirth in Majimoto Village.
Majimoto has evolved from Nomadic to sedentary life hence adopted a permanent lifestyle. The modern Maasai homes and community facilities are built using burnt bricks at the expense of trees around the area. This has led to serious desertification and drying of rivers bordering the village. Compressed Stabilized Earth Bricks (CSEB) have been used in the dispensary construction as an alternative building material, in a village that is rich in clay soil. In order to produce the bricks, a proportion of sieved clay (found beneath 45cm organic topsoil) is stabilized by a small amount of cement (10% of the mixture)
and then compressed (manually/ hydraulically). After that, the bricks need to be dried and cured to form strong interlocking bricks that use a minimum amount of cement to bond.
With 140 square meters, the concept for the spatial arrangement of functions has been to create flexible and multipurpose spaces as illustrated below;
Reception and Pharmacy - Narrow offices with full height storage cabinets on both sides. The Doors to these rooms also function as windows to serve patients outside.
Consultation and Examination room - One permanent room with a consultation table and an examination bed.
Minor surgery (wound dressing and Injection) - this has been organized to also act as the second consultations room. These 2 activities can take place in the same place through the proper timetable of services.
Waiting room -Has utilized the outdoor space between two blocks and part of circulation hence climatically comfortable at all seasons.
Mother and child care - This has provided for clinical services for mothers and children pre and post-delivery and emergency delivery services due to the demand of the village context.
Building Materials - Compressed Stabilized Earth Bricks (CSEB), reinforced concrete to carry the roof load and allow flexibility of the partitioning inside, steel due to high cost of timber and presence of insects attacking timber in the area, stones readily available on rivers close to the village for foundation and bamboo stripes sourced from neighbouring village to create semi-private area.
Generally, the proposed design of Majimoto dispensary advocate for use of sustainable construction materials, environmentally sensitive design, flexible spaces, and cost-conscious design.
July - September 2019
Laia Garcia Fernandez
Samantha Welby, Nancy Arbogast