In the next few weeks, an amazing new clinic will open to women and children in a rural settlement of nearly 6,000 people along the western coast of the African nation of Namibia.
Steelcase Health has partnered with Containers 2 Clinics and the Namibian national Ministry of Health and Social Services to implement an innovative clinical platform.
Containers 2 Clinics (C2C) seeks to reduce maternal and child morbidity and mortality rates in the developing world by providing access to high-quality primary healthcare for women and children. They deploy shipping containers — converted into clinics — to areas with inadequate facilities and collaborate with local organizations and governments to provide clinical, laboratory, pharmacy, and health education services.
Once retrofitted for use as a health clinic, a shipping container is a durable, standardized, adaptable, secure structure with significant potential for replication and consistent care services. Here’s a great YouTube video on their first initiative in Port au Prince, Haiti that should give you some perspective on C2C’s mission, vision and process.
Steelcase Health donated Opus casegoods to outfit the containers destined for Namibia.
You may have noticed a few images on the Steelcase Health Facebook page of the containers setting sail from the port of Charleston on Feb. 7.
The container is scheduled to arrive in Namibia in mid-March and will then be trucked to its location and prepared for a “soft opening” around April 15th. A grand opening gala featuring local dignitaries will take place sometime in May. We’ll post more info as we get updates.
Allison Howard Berry, C2C Director of Operations told us, “The contribution of Steelcase Health is significant — it has, without reservation, provided a qualitative upgrade to our clinical space. Doctors and nurses in the developing world are regularly underpaid and undervalued. They don’t have the benefit of continuing medical education opportunities, reliable pharmaceuticals, or even the satisfaction of knowing that they’re saving lives. Indeed, most clinicians in these environments don’t even have the basic tools to do their jobs. By bringing dignity and professionalism to their work space, we’re renewing their confidence in the meaning of their work. Our clinicians in Haiti love to work in the C2C space, and we’re thrilled to know that our clinics in Namibia will be even better — thanks to Steelcase Health.”
In addition, we’ll be inviting the C2C leadership to Grand Rapids after the clinic is up and running, to share information with our team about the Namibian effort and to discuss this exciting partnership between C2C and Steelcase Health – one that will result in thousands of healthier women and children in Africa.
In the meantime, you can also keep up to date with what’s happening with the project via the C2C blog.