As part of its Impact Design programs the Center for Design Research has been working in rural Africa since 2007 in countries including Tanzania, Uganda, Malawi, Rwanda, and now Zambia. Last week, CDR Co-Director Dr. Nathan King, met with Zambian First Lady Esther Lungu, Permanent Secretaries of Health and Education, and regional District Commissioners to discuss the current state and need of the nations distributed healthcare infrastructure. Part of the visit was to determine the feasibility of the construction of a medical campus in Chipilepile, an ecologically sensitive rural site north east of Lusaka, to serve a growing population of 6,000 (12,000 projected in 5 years) with a catchment radius of 10 kilometers. Over the next year CDR faculty and students will be working on a range of projects in collaboration with the Ministry of Health relating to the early master planning for the Chipilepile medical campus that includes a large clinic, materiality waiting homes, and caregiver housing. In parallel to the master planning for the site, the CDR will explore the potential for the deployment of the clinic using automated off-site production technology.

This project is an expansion of engagement with the non-profit Make it Rain which supports the Zambian Ministry of Health by enhancing access to much needed medicines through donations and supply chain management that have provided treatment for over 50,000 patients this year. 2017 the collaboration between CDR and Make it Rain resulted in the construction of a clinic in Entebbe Uganda. Since opening in 2017 the clinic has treated thousands of patients. Designed for infection control and flexibility by A+D graduate students Dahwal Jain (March ’18), Andreas Salazar Del Pozo (March ‘17), and Teressa Ham Modley (March ’18), with faculty Nathan King, Mark Leach, and Robert Dunay, the community clinic is the basis for the emerging design for deployment in Zambia.

The CDR currently has active projects in Rwanda, Malawi, Uganda, and Zambia which provide student opportunities for experiential learning. Alignment with the University's Beyond Boundaries initiative the Center works to enable students the opportunity to explore how design, engineering, and construction can help provide solutions to the world’s most pressing problems, can facilitate collaborative opportunities, and ultimately lead to a purpose driven future.

For additional information on the CDR programs in Africa contact Dr. Nathan King.

Image: Dr. Nathan King greets the First Lady during a site visit in Chiawa Zambia (Photo: Thomas Nsama, Zambian State House Photographer)
Image: The team onsite in Chipilipile studying site conditions
Image: CDR Clinic in Entebbe Uganda (Photo: Dan Odeke )