Butaro Cancer Center of Excellence
Can we amplify outcomes of rural cancer care?
The burden of noncommunicable diseases (such as, cancers, diabetes, and cardiovascular or lung disease) is disproportionately rising among low- and middle-income countries and populations. In Rwanda, this is most acutely seen in cancer, with more than three thousand registered cases of cancer between 2007 and 2011. To respond to this growing need, Partners In Health and the Ministry of Health developed the first comprehensive cancer center in East Africa, adjacent to the Butaro District Hospital.
The Butaro Cancer Center of Excellence offers a spectrum of diagnostic oncology and treatment services, including chemotherapy, surgery, a pathology laboratory, counseling, and palliative care. The center is designed to facilitate patient and staff flows, and comfortably accommodate patients and their attendants during extensive treatment regimens.
Patients enter from the south wing, with interior and exterior waiting rooms nearby. From there they proceed to a nearby consultation room, and then into the expansive chemotherapy infusion space.
Treatment in this new setting protects cancer patients with weakened immune systems from contagious infections by limiting their exposure to patients in the nearby hospital. The ventilation system maximizes natural air flow and includes strategically located ultraviolet germicidal irradiation lights, which neutralize 99 percent of harmful pathogens.
The facility and much of the furnishings were built with locally sourced materials, custom-assembled on site. The facility’s construction created jobs for more than 550 people, 30 percent of them women.
Location: Butaro, Burera District, Northern Province, Rwanda
Size: 575 sq. m.
Program: Ambulatory Cancer Center
Design types: Project Accompaniment, Architectural Design, Landscape Design, Master Planning, Construction Administration
Rwanda Ministry of Health
Partners In Health