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The Challenges of Designing and Building Health Care Infrastructure in Low Resource Settings

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    Health care outcomes vary widely across geographies. This disparity is even more acute in Low and Middle Income Countries (LMICs), and is tightly correlated to access to health care infrastructure that can facilitate the delivery of care. This inequality was brought into stark relief after the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti, during which 30 out of 49 hospitals were damaged or destroyed within the disaster zone and thousands of people lost their lives as a result of lack of access to both facilities and health care professionals. In this discussion, we look at the challenges of design and construction in these complex settings, with Haiti as an example of both the difficulties and opportunities. We deconstruct the common pitfalls of architectural design and construction in LMICs, examine the considerations necessary to create resilient and sustainable structures, and discuss the challenges of the tradeoffs often necessary to assure that, from design to decommissioning, these facilities operate at the highest potential. We also examine how Autodesk tools have helped create innovative design solutions as well as facilitate communication and building with construction professionals in settings of low literacy.

    Key Learnings

    • Understand some of the constraints of design and construction in Low and Middle Income Countries
    • Understand how Autodesk tools improve construction practices in low literacy environments
    • How understanding the broader resource constraints -- staffing, maintenance, operational budgets, etc -- affects the design p
    • Understand the need for robust and resilient health care infrastructure in Low and Middle Income Countries and how that, in p