EMI Canada has been working with Haiti ARISE since 2011 on the design and development of their two campuses near the town of Grand Goâve, Haiti. This project marked our organization's fourth visit, but my first. On this project, we were tasked with revising the master plans to accommodate Haiti ARISE's priorities, which shift based on the community's need.
This involved designing a birthing clinic; revising designs for an auto body shop, administration building, and church; and providing suggestions for storm water, wastewater, and electrical remediation of older facilities. I led a multi-disciplinary team to Grand Goâve that consisted of two architects, two civil engineers, a structural engineer, an electrical engineer, a surveyor/civil tech, and a mechanical engineering intern.
More birthing centres are desperately needed in Haiti. A UN study estimated that Haiti requires 80 birthing centres to keep up with demand, but only 8 existed at the time of our team's visit. This often results in doctors forcing labour to move quickly via induction, or scheduling unnecessary C-sections that carry a high risk of infection and complication. It also results in many women giving birth without medical or expert supervision, often in unsanitary conditions.
In 2020, construction of the birthing centre was completed, and it is now open and operating. Haiti ARISE has begun using the facility for midwife training and child nutrition programs. The auto body shop has also finished construction.
Here's a quick video I put together about the birthing centre:
Rendering of the Haiti ARISE Birthing Centre site (produced by EMI Canada)