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Doing Good A World Away

Rendering of the Kachumbala Maternity Ward

Dallas-based architecture firm HKS partnered with Engineers For Overseas Development to build a new maternity ward in Kachumbala, Uganda, one of the riskiest places in the world for pregnant women.

According to a statement from HKS, 35 to 40 in 1,000 children within the region do not live to their first birthday and 343 in 100,000 mothers die in childbirth. The firm hopes the new ward will help reduce the number of deaths in the region by providing a safer birthing option for the community.

The ward is the only one in the region, and the old building was unable to accommodate the number of women in need of assistance. It had to turn away 60% of the women who came to it. The new facility will be able to accommodate six births per day, which is the average rate for the region of 160,000 residents.

The Kachumbala region is mostly without power, so the new ward was designed so that it could function without it. HKS and EFOD hired more than 40 local men and used only local materials for the build.

The new ward will open Nov. 2.