Construction underway at Mirebalais hospital in Haiti

The hospital is being built in cooperation with Boston-based aid organisation Partners in Health (PIH). The 320-bed hospital will replace an old hospital which is virtually nonfunctional and was in the process of being closed down in January 2009. The original plan of PIH was to build a 108-bed regional hospital, which was later scaled up at the request of the ministry following 10 January 2010 earthquake in the region that destroyed Haiti’s main teaching hospital in Port-au-Prince.

The new 180,000 square feet hospital will feature six operating rooms, an outpatient clinic with 12 consultation rooms, large naturally ventilated waiting area, emergency room, medical records, laboratory, pharmacy and administrative offices, as well as a malnutrition office and HIV clinic. The inpatient services will consist of separate men’s, women’s and children’s wards that can accommodate approximately 25- 30 beds per ward. In addition, there will be 11 isolation rooms to accommodate TB patients.

The hospital will also incorporate 9,310 square feet of garden courtyards and extensive natural ventilation to prevent the transmission of tuberculosis and other airborne diseases. In keeping with the philosophy of PIH, the project incorporates a host of sustainable practices including construction using poured in place reinforced concrete technology; locally manufactured windows; breezeways and courtyards with native plantings to provide family gathering areas and healing environments for patients; natural lighting as the primary source of light in order to conserve energy for hospital equipment usage and night time lighting requirements; and metal work by local artisans using local materials.

The tropical location of the site is suitable for utilising photovoltaic panels to supplement power generation. The building will also feature rainwater harvesting system to be used for irrigation of native planted gardens during dry season. Reclaimed wood is being used from construction site for hospital waiting area benches and other furniture. The earthquake-resistant design of the hospital will incorporate 24-ft to 28-ft spans and load-bearing walls.

Construction of the teaching hospital began in July 2010 with the hospital expected to be operational by 12 January 2012.


Author: `