Maternity Ward, Mozambique

From Concept to Completion, Health Centre Masterplan, Maternity Ward

The Nema Foundation works with over 24,000 people in Cabo Delgado, the most northerly province of Mozambique. Nema helps the local communities to meet the challenges of poverty, in particular health care, primary and secondary education and developing business initiatives.

Mucojo is the largest village in a 50 km radius and situated at the end of a long dirt road. In the rainy season, few supplies and materials can get through so Nema has been supporting these rural health challenges by funding three-wheel motorbike taxis which are able to bring pregnant women and sick people to the nearest health clinics.

The Aga Khan Foundation designed and built a maternity dormitory in early 2012 which improved the facilities of the Mucojo Health Centre. They subsequently converted the dormitory into a delivery and recuperation room. Out of 581 live births in 2016, 84 new-borns did not survive but by 2017 that number had decreased significantly to 12 new-borns, yet there are still many challenges ahead. For example, there is a great need for more inpatient bed spaces for recuperation from complications before, during and after giving birth.

Our challenge was to take Mozambique government standard design for a type 2 centre and make improvements wherever possible. We wanted to ensure the highest standards of natural ventilation, natural lighting and hygiene, and from an environmental perspective we decided to use compressed earth block technology to utilise local materials so we have been training a team of local people to use use and produce compressed earth blocks, using local onsite earth.

Build Area

255 m2


2013 - Present