Mkula Healthy Hospital
Access to health care is both a human right and a humanitarian issue. Investing in health care has direct positive consequences for the beneficiaries, but the investments need to be made in a way that ensures long-term operation and development. Mkula hospital faces several challenges and this project aims to improve the hospital together with the hospital management team and the hospital staff.
Healthy hospitals is a project which started in 2015 when the infrastructure at Kolandoto Hospital in the Shinyanga region, Tanzania, was studied. The project at Kolandoto Hospital was divided into different phases and resulted in hospital infrastructure improvements worth 963 000 SEK. The hospital management team chose all implementations with the intention of decreasing morbidity and mortality of patients at the Kolandoto Hospital. These improvements included, among several other investments, a new groundwater pump with a small-scale water treatment system to improve the water supply and quality, a solar-powered backup power system due to regular power cuts as well as construction and equipping of a new emergency room for improved emergency health care and efficiency.
Read more about the project here.
In 2017, Mkula hospital made an enquiry regarding assistance with infrastructural issues. A first visit was made during the third phase in Kolandoto Hospital, where initial contact with Mkula management was established. In late 2017, a second visit was conducted and meetings with the hospital management was held in order to plan the project and introduce the survey team to the hospital and its staff, before the initiation of Healthy Hospitals Mkula Phase 1 in early 2018.
Phase 1: Water pump installation, infrastructural surveying and architectural masterplan
A surveying phase was carried out by Engineers Without Borders with the help of Mkula Hospital Management Team to understand the hospital's most urgent needs and main challenges. The water shortage was one of the most critical problems, as the hospital only was supplied by an old and inefficient windmill groundwater pump and could not provide safe health care without enough water. As a first phase of the development of the hospital, a pump house was constructed around the old windmill to protect the borehole and the planned installations and at the same time keep the current water supply system as a backup source. When the new pump house was finished, a new submersible groundwater pump and national grid electricity power supply was installed. During the spring/summer of 2018, the new water supply system was successfully taken into service.
During the design and planning of the water supply system, the engineering team also worked with a thorough survey of the hospital's infrastructural systems. The purpose of the survey was to control the status of the hospital's infrastructure, summarise the staff's and hospital management's needs, and recommend further investments and improvements. At the same time, the project's architects worked with a new master plan for the hospital. The master plan should facilitate and plan the hospital's future development and ensure efficient flows of staff, patients and goods.
For the next phase, Engineers Without Borders are seeking funding to improve the infrastructure for sanitation and waste management. Most of the indoor toilets at the hospital not can be used due to sewage malfunctions. Furthermore, the hospital is connected to the national grid but are experiencing recurring power outages due to the power grid's low standard. Power outage during surgery can have a fatal outcome, and the hospital therefore also needs investments in a power supply backup system. The second phase of Healthy Hospital Mkula is planned to start in early 2019.