Kolandoto Healthy Hospital

During 2015 - 2017 a collaboration between Kolandoto Hospital in Tanzania and the Swedish NGOs Involvaid, Engineers Without Borders and Architects Without Borders resulted in hospital infrastructure improvements worth 963 000 SEK. All implementations were chosen by the hospital management team with the intention of decreasing morbidity and mortality of patients at the Kolandoto Hospital in the Shinyanga Region. 8 master theses were written by 14 master students from Chalmers University of Technology. The students spent two months each at Kolandoto Hospital. The project included professional visits by nurses, architects, civil engineers and electrical engineers who provided professional support in the planning and procurement of infrastructure improvements. As a first step a hospital masterplan was created by Kolandoto Hospital with the assistance of a Swedish architect to make sure that subsequent implementations followed the overall development plans of the Kolandoto Hospital. After this first step major project implementations were: increased water availability and improved water quality, stabilized and solar assisted electricity supply, and construction of an emergency department and the creation of a mass casualty plan. The primary objective of the project was the reduction of morbidity and mortality in the Shinyanga region. Secondary objectives were learning outcomes for the organizations and people involved in the project.

Access to health care is both a human right and a humanitarian issue. Investing in health care has direct positive consequences for beneficiaries, but the investments need to be made in a way that ensures long-term operation. The Kolandoto Hospital has been cooperating with NGOs and foreign aid organisations for many decades, and the track record of successful and sustained projects shows the broad competence of the management team of Kolandoto Hospital. The management team has juggled finances from aid organisations, patient fees, church organisations and state funds in a manner that has enabled the hospital to develop and increase the access to health care for a significant portion of the Shinyanga residents as well as the rest of Tanzania. One of the organisations with which Kolandoto Hospital has been collaborating for a more extended period is Involvaid (former I Aid Africa). The Kolandoto Healthy Hospital Project was created as a collaboration between Kolandoto Hospital, Involvaid, Engineers Without Borders and Architects Without Borders in 2014. Involvaid, Engineers Without Borders and Architects Without Borders are smaller Swedish aid NGOs without large donor support and volunteers do all work. 

The motivation for working voluntarily in these aid organisations vary but we have often agreed on the following key components of our motivation: 
• Healthcare is a humanitarian issue and will have a direct impact on people’s lives. 
• We want to learn from and see if we can overcome challenges of long-term foreign aid projects. We had some principles which we tried to follow throughout the project: 
• Decisions on investments were to be made by the hospital management team. 
• Ownership of the physical implementations should be ensured by the decision-making process and by co-financing by Kolandoto Hospital. 
• By not leading the physical implementation projects but instead support the Kolandoto Hospital in the procurement of local construction agents we wanted to make sure that maintenance and system upgrades were easily made after the end of the project. 
• We wanted to be present for a long time to develop a cultural and contextual understanding as a base for project implementations, as well as developing good relations over the years.