HOK Major Funder for African Clinic

June 23, 2005 · by DesignIntelligence

This fall, HOK will mark its 50th anniversary on the other side of the world, with a $500,000 gift to a clinic in Kenya.

This fall, HOK will mark its 50th anniversary on the other side of the world, with a $500,000 gift to a clinic in Kenya.

The money will go toward construction upgrades, staff and installation of solar-powered diagnostic and treatment equipment. In day-to-day terms, it means those patients with potentially fatal conditions (mostly the native Maasai population) will no longer have to walk two days for an X-ray. The firm’s partner in the project is Chicago-based Africa Infectious Disease Village Clinics, Inc.

Treatment of tuberculosis, nearly unheard of in the states, will be a major initiative in the upgrade of the existing 24-building Mbirikani Clinic. In 2000, The World Health Organization reported that of the roughly two million tuberculosis deaths each year, 98 percent were in developing countries. Yet, 95 percent of TB patients could be cured if given a six-month course of drug treatment, which costs about $10 per patient.

“In its broadest sense, sustainability is about creating healthy, responsible and economically viable communities, which can mean ensuring that basic human needs, such as access to quality health care, are satisfied,” said Bill Valentine, HOK’s chairman.

The HOK Diagnostic and Treatment center began accepting patients mid-year, but the official dedication will coincide with the firm’s October anniversary.
Of course, beyond TB, AIDS, malaria and other disease continue to ravage Africa, which is hamstrung by debt, drought and famine, in addition to its health crisis. The center will be renovated by Kenya-based Economic Housing Group, the construction firm that built the original complex. It is situated on a 300,000 acre compound about 125 miles southeast of Nairobi.

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