Designing a locally adaptable low cost patient ward bed in Uganda: A case study of Atutur hospital, Kumi district
Uganda, like any other developing country experiences challenges in providing access and quality health services to its people. Uganda has tried to put in place the necessary infrastructure though with limitations. Many hospital facilities that have buildings do not have enough equipment such as beds to support the patient's numbers. Although World Health Organisation recommends a global average of 25 beds per I 0,000 people, in Ugandan hospitals, the density of beds stands at 5 beds per I 0,000 people. This condition has left many Ugandans spreading mattresses or mats on the floor making it difficult to be properly examined and also exposing the patients to various infections. This study therefore set out to design a low cost general ward bed with improved functions using available local materials. Specifically the study analysed the effects of the low bed patient ratio in health facilities, developed a design of a low cost bed inspired by a Loxodonta, and produced a prototype of a low cost general ward bed. The study used a case study design and studied Atutur hospital in Kumi district. Respondents were purposefully selected and a total of 29 participated. Using in-depth interviews, observations and photography, the views of the respondents were collected and used to design a low cost general ward bed. The design developed was also based on the Loxodonta which is a common African gene. The final prototype of the bed demonstrated that it is affordable and multifunctional.