New Sight Eye Centre - Ouesso, Congo
Non-profit New Eye Surgical Centre
The purpose of the project is to open a second New Sight non-profit eye centre in Quesso, as a primary hub of future operations, serving the surrounding Le Sanga region and the wider Republic of Congo, and the empower nationals to continue running the New Sight non-profit eye centre in Impfondo with increasing independence.
UNIQUE PROPERTIES / PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
Ouesso desperately needs eye service. It is an exciting opportunity for New Sight to expand its help beyond Impfondo, with potential to help the entire country due to good transport links that Ouesso enjoys. The town has experience and success with recent large building projects. The community and its leaders appears to be supportive of the project proposal.
OPERATION / FLOW / INTERACTION:
The establishment of a new base of operation for the New Sight Congo in Ouesso which meets local construction and health standards with scope to expand in the future, including:
• A new eye surgical centre, including equipment and supplies
• Housing for key long-term staff including the Directors
• Housing for visiting short-term visitors, volunteers and teams
• Supporting core infrastructure to support the above
PROJECT DURATION AND LOCATION:
New Proposal for 2017
Ouesso, Republic of Congo
FITS BEST INTO CATEGORY:
Architecture, Building and Structure Design
PRODUCTION / REALIZATION TECHNOLOGY:
In the Republic of Congo and surrounding areas, 4 out of 5 people who are blind or visually impaired suffer because they lack access to prevention or correction of treatable eye conditions. New Sight is a pioneer in the Republic of Congo, delivering comprehensive non-profit eye services to one of the most impoverished and underserved areas of the world. By restoring sight, New Sight brings hope and transformation to the lives of patients and their families.
SPECIFICATIONS / TECHNICAL PROPERTIES:
The building concept can be considered as a contextual response, utilising the natural features of the landscape in order to create space. This concept allows for a simple architectural solution that relies on the site for success in functionality. When materiality is considered, local materials like timber, bag-plastered Congolese mud-bricks and local construction methods ensure that a vernacular design is achieved that commemorates cultural heritage and local methodology for the use of space.
This design is divided into 2 main building components. The Out-Patient area is located to the east, while In-patient areas are located to the west. Out-Patient areas include waiting areas and doctors consultation while the In-patient areas house the theatres complex and wards. Areas are connected with pedestrian corridors that further connect the building to other structures on the site. Angled double volume roofs with internal courtyards ensure thermal comfort through passive ventilation, while also creating opportunity for rainwater harvesting. The courtyard concept further allows for a soft filtered light quality that accommodates sensitive eyesight of patients. The architecture thus becomes part of the healing process. Total: 2260 m2
Non-profit, Housing, Eye surgical centre, Supporting, Affordable
River Blindness is primarily an African disease, involving a parasite transmitted by biting flies. A parasitic disease, it is caused by a large tissue roundworm that spreads from person to person through the bites of blackflies. The association with rivers occurs because this is where blackflies breed – in rivers where the water flows quickly, the humidity is high, and there is lots of plant growth.
• Affordable, as well as free eye care for the local residence
• Timely emergency care for not only eye-care incidents, but also for those involved with the local timber industry
• The people of Le Sanga will be provided with education in eye health
• Control over the existing transportation roads as well as bus companies located in areas between Ouesso and Brazaville
• Increased responsibility and autonomy in local staff in Lmpfondo
• Educational opportunities, including training for the Congolese to allows future expansion for New Sight
• The reduction of contamination and infection by the construction of new operating theatres and storage area
It was established that many in the immediate area from Ouesso suffer from eye diseases, and that there has been no eye care provision in the entire region, including the nearby forest industry which often suffers eye trauma. If patients present with eye problems, the local hospital medical director tries to do what he can, but confirms that services are quite limited, and that surgery is not possible at the local hospital. Accordingly, patients are referred to the capital for eye specialist care, which is out of reach financially for the majority of patients in the region.. Everyone the Samoutous met encouraged them to establish an eye hospital here, and confirmed that the need is monumental. It is possible, due to the excellent road conditions between Brazzaville and Ouesso (roughly 10- 12 hours by road) that patients would come as far as Brazzaville to obtain affordable non-profit eye help.
TEAM MEMBERS (1) :
Alexander Hahn, 2016.