Doctors of the World is a medical charity helping victims of natural disasters, refugees and people in vulnerable circumstances. Our experience in the refugee crisis showed that traditional emergency clinics, like tents, huts, and containers are not suited for patients’ and doctors’ needs.
We decided to find a solution and created the Global Clinic thanks to the support of leading architects, engineers, and the Wellcome Collection.
Now, we need your help to raise an initial £10,000 to send the Global Clinic to those who need it the most
What's the problem?
In refugee camps, natural disaster zones, and conflict situations, healthcare needs are urgent and addressing them is critical. Children, women and men need help treating wounds, both physical and emotional, but local structures are often destroyed or overwhelmed.
Doctors, like the volunteers who work with Doctors of the World, are among the first responders during emergencies, and often the last to leave. However, there are no medical structures that are specifically created for humanitarian medical response needs. Doctors have to work in tents that quickly become ice-cold or sweltering, in unhygienic vans or unwelcoming shipping containers, or in huts that provide no privacy for their patients.
In Greece, Doctors of the World volunteers met a woman named Afia, who was fleeing from Afghanistan. She was suffering from postnatal depression, but struggled to talk about it because she didn’t want to be overheard in the crowded refugee camp. Doctors found an unused tent, where Afia was grateful to be able to speak freely and get support. But this crucial care shouldn’t be at risk due to lack of a safe clinic building, and confidential trauma treatment shouldn’t have to take place in crowded public spaces.
These are not the types of clinics that we want for our patients, no matter where they are in the world. Refugees fleeing their homes and survivors of natural disasters have often suffered severe loss, separation, physical pain and suffering. They deserve medical care in a space that is confidential, comfortable, and designed to meet their needs.
After witnessing these issues in the countries where we work, Doctors of the World felt a call to action. When Wellcome Collection put out a call for proposals for an architectural installation that addressed a health issue to accompany their Living With Buildings exhibition, we saw an opportunity. We rallied our most experienced medical professionals and worked with a world-class team of architects and engineers to build a solution. The result is the Global Clinic.
We have a solution!
The Global Clinic is a low-cost, easily-assembled, and durable solution that creates a private and safe space for patients and doctors worldwide.
It has been designed for rapid deployment and long-lasting intervention. The clinic is constructed from 25 pieces of plywood that are CNC machined locally into 298 parts, which are then delivered as a flatpack and assembled in one day, with no need for tools or machinery.
"This is the cutting edge of miracle medical architecture" - TimeOut
It has an enclosed medical room separate from a waiting area, an interconnectable design allowing for multiple units to be attached, and a cellular structure that creates insulation in changing climates. The clinic is a robust building that can last decades, becoming a community centre for teaching, counselling and education.
“The flat-pack clinic that could revolutionise healthcare in isolated communities” - The Telegraph
The Global Clinic has been created with our patients’ experience in mind. It’s an attractive, dignified and comfortable space where patients can receive medical and psychosocial support. It provides doctor-patient confidentiality and privacy that is so important for those who have experienced severe trauma.
We need your help!
Our team of medical professionals, architects from Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, and engineers from BuroHappold and ChapmanBDSP have built the first prototype of The Global Clinic, which you can see on display until the end of April at Wellcome Collection. Now, we need your help to send it to the field.
Your support will go towards the delivery, construction, and running of the first Global Clinic for patients in need, to be deployed in the Balkans this summer. Our team will work with doctors, nurses and patients using the clinics, continually gathering feedback and evaluating how they use the structure so that we can best meet the community’s needs.
We need an initial £15,000 to deploy and staff the first two Global Clinic buildings, so that we can provide it at no cost to the crew on the ground.
£5,000 will cover the costs of printing and assembling one clinic building
£10,000 will cover the costs of staffing it with doctors
£15,000 will cover the costs of printing and assembling two clinics
£30,000 allows us to test in two different regions, adapting the clinic structure for different climates
£50,000 would allow us to reach three emergency zones
Doctors of the World is an independent humanitarian charity that believes no one should be excluded from healthcare. We run 400 programmes in 80 countries, meeting the health needs of vulnerable people across the world.
From remote villages in Nepal to overcrowded refugee camps in Lebanon, the Global Clinic can be deployed at high speed and low cost to provide a safe, dignified space for people in crisis. From its first day, it will allow us to save lives.