Texas A&M College of Architecture students presented design concepts for next-generation, Kenyan healthcare facilities April 26, 2016 at a conference in the College Station Hilton aimed at improving healthcare for Africans by creating business relationships and partnerships between people in the U.S. and Africa.
The presentation was part of the April 25-28 U.S. – Africa Relations Conference, whose sponsors included Ustawi Biomedical Research Innovation and Industrial Centers of Africa (UBRICA) and the Texas A&M Departments of Architecture and Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning.
“Conference participants explored business opportunities in Africa related to health promotion and disease prevention, pharmaceutical and medical devices research and development, manufacture of generic drugs and devices, health facility construction, and high quality health services management,” said Macharia Waruingi, chief executive officer of UBRICA, which invests in African healthcare facilities and medicines, medical devices, and medical/health supplies.
Students presented design concepts for 52 primary healthcare centers in Kenya’s 47 counties that include space for healthcare, a pharmacy, medical lab, retail establishments, and a farmer’s market, created by 30 architecture and 22 landscape architecture students working individually,.
With guidance from Waruingi, students customized their designs for respective Kenyan counties' geography, regional conventions, disease distribution and economic activities.
Conference attendees will also saw student-designed master plans and architectural designs for UBRICA ONE Biomedical Industrial City, a proposed 4,330-acre research and health care city near Kenya’s capital, Nairobi.
The designs included a 120-bed “general hospital of the future,” housing for active, healthy living and a biomedical research laboratory.
Students created the designs and master plans for the health centers and the biomedical city in a spring 2016 “Architecture-For-Health” studio led by George J. Mann, professor of architecture and holder of the Ronald L. Skaggs Professorship in Health Facilities Design, Chanam Lee, a professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning, and Zhipeng Lu, architecture lecturer.
The students are also collaborating with Bita Kash, director of the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health's Center for Health Organization Transformation.
The projects are the latest in a series of design students’ collaborations with Waruingi.
In 2014, students led by Lee, Lu, and Mann, created a master plan for Thompson & Grace Medical City, a multipurpose healthcare development in Nigeria, and a design for a 1200-bed medical facility within the medical city, with guidance from Waruingi.
In addition to seeing students present their work, attendees at the Hilton conference also participated in sessions exploring factors that affect Africans’ health, such as agriculture, nutrition, medical devices, medical supplies, hospitals and clinics, energy generation, water supply, and health care financing and administration.
The sessions were led by a multidisciplinary group of experts from Texas A&M, UBRICA, and African health organizations.