June 22, 2008
June 22, 2008
June 25, 2008
13.60.1 - 13.60.16
A Model for Developing a Sustainable Hospital in Tanzania
Modern healthcare is expensive. In addition, hospitals are expensive to build and costly to maintain and sustain. In many developing countries the cost of modern healthcare services is prohibitively expensive and typically beyond the financial means of those who could directly benefit from such services. Furthermore, the diagnostics and instruments used in hospitals require a significant amount of electrical power along with the associated maintenance. Unfortunately reliable sources of electrical power are typically unavailable in developing countries. Consequently there are several significant obstacles, such as funding and power, which must be addressed in order to build and sustain a modern hospital in a developing country.
A business model was developed which is expected to provide the means and the necessary capital for powering and sustaining a modern hospital in some of the developing countries beyond their initial launch phase, which is typically supported through philanthropy and general humanitarian aid. The pilot hospital project, which is proceeding with the approval of the Tanzanian government, is part of the Dodoma Christian Medical Center (DCMC; see www.dthd.org) and is located near Dodoma, Tanzania.
In this paper the characteristics and necessary boundary conditions for success of the business model will be briefly described. Specific attention will be given to the evaluation process and selection of the alternative-energy based power systems that are needed for sustaining the hospital, the student service-learning work performed in support of this project, the engineering challenges, and the requirements for achieving long-term independent sustainability. The preliminary results to date indicate that with the proper set of conditions, modern healthcare can be introduced and sustained in developing countries.
The hospital project is a planned addition to the DCMC and part of the Dodoma Tanzania Health Development (DTHD). Additional information regarding this development can be found at the DTHD web site.1 Active planning for the hospital began in late 2005. The projected cost and timeline of the hospital is approximately 3 million dollars over a period of 5 years respectively. The majority of this cost is associated with the building materials and power systems. Labor costs are typically not excessive in Tanzania. To minimize expenditures, the goal is to outfit the DCMC hospital with relatively new equipment obtained from equipment upgrades as they occur at sister hospitals. The Dodoma location of the DCMC hospital is somewhat remote from the main hydro-power generation locations (northern Tanzania) and existing transmission lines in
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