Over the last decade, Liberia has taken great strides to rebuild its social and physical infrastructure. The 2008 poverty reduction strategy outlined the government of Liberia’s commitment to peace building, economic revitalization, strengthened governance, and the delivery of basic health services. The government has established a national vision to become a middle-income country by 2030 - and recognizes that health, particularly universal and holistic health, is integral to that goal (standards for health infrastructure, 2013).
As part of the initiative to rebuild basic health services, Nous Engineering provided structral design for the new pediatric facility on the redemption hospital campus. Nous was part of the design team that continued on to create the “standards for health infrastructure” under the premise “that to enable the design and construction of health facilities optimized for Liberia, building standards had to be approached not as a universal prototype, but as a flexible tool for implementing efficient, effective, and sustainable change.” Following the standards, nous provided in country technical training to the infrastructure unit in Liberia’s ministry of health.
The design team integrated building systems and architecture to achieve a self-sufficient facilty in a healthy environment with minimal impact on already constrained resources.
1. REDEMPTION HOSPITAL EXPANSION, LIBERIA
Liberia’s long civil war (1989 – 2003) left the health care service delivery system fragmented and damaged, and heavily dependent on international donors and NGOs. The Liberia Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, together with Rebuilding Health Services (RBHS), and a local subsidiary of John Snow International enlisted MASS Design Group, with structural support provided by Nous Engineering, to design and construct a three story, 145-bed pediatric facility.
2. LIBERIAN MINISTRY OF HEALTH AND SOCIAL WELFARE: STANDARDS FOR HEALTH INFRASTRUCTURE
Nous Engineering was the structural consultant on a team of architects and engineers hired by the Liberia Ministry of Health, in collaboration with Rebuilding Basic Health Services (RBHS), an initiative of the John Snow Institute, funded by the US Agency for International Development, to develop architectural and engineering standards and guidelines for all scales of facilities, including clinics, health centers, and hospitals throughout Liberia. The Standards will build the capacity, expertise, and effective policy that will tie better built infrastructure to health outcome objectives. Objectives of the stanards include: provision of high quality infrastructure, focus on improved outcomes, inclusion of stakeholder participation in decision-making, institutionalization of capacity-building measures.
3. TECHNICAL TRAINING FOR INFRASTRUCTURE UNIT, MINISTRY OF HEALTH, LIBERIA
At the time of the in-country visit as part of research conducted for the Standards for Health Infrastructure, Nous provided assistance to engineers in the infrastructure unit with troubleshooting a structural analysis software program. Due to budget and remote location, the team was having difficulties securing software training. Nous Engineering was selected by Rebuilding Basic Health Services in Liberia (RBHS) through USAID to conduct training for eight engineers from the Infrastructure Unit of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare in the use of structural analysis software programs.