The new Maternal and Neonatal Health Center at St. Boniface Hospital provides advanced health care and training space for maternal and neonatal care in Haiti’s southern peninsula.
The St. Boniface Hospital is located in a mountainous terrain, 3.5 hours west of Port of Prince, an area that recently experienced significant devastation due to an earthquake. It is the only hospital in the southern peninsula serving a population close to 12,000.The center significantly increases the hospital’s capacity to care for the population within and beyond the Fond-des-Blancs catchment area, adding a total of 17 beds for women at various stages of pregnancy and 14 beds for neonates.
This project required a total rethinking of healthcare design and its execution. Instead of being bound by regulations, institutional standards and best practices, it was defined by a completely different set of norms; medical practices influenced by a culture with deep roots and construction means and methods derived from very limited available resources to withstand natural catastrophes.
The new 13,700 SF addition, with an annual volume of 1,200 births, demanded design and build strategies with a “back to basics” perspective. The most formidable challenge was accessibility in terms of transportation, resources, technology infrastructure and labor skill sets. Local sourcing has become trendy in the United States, but in Haiti, it is the only alternative. In order to deliver a successful project, it was necessary to work with what was readily available. The project utilized locally sourced materials and construction skill sets including: the building envelope and interior partitions constructed of concrete masonry blocks with a stucco parged finish, windows and jalousies from Port au Prince, and metal railings and gates hand fabricated at Croix de Bouquet.
Since its opening in March 2015, patient volumes have increased and service areas have expanded.