Innovation That Matters

The portable handwashing station in action | Photo source Nifemi Marcus-Bello

Portable hand washing cart makes hospital ward rounds easier and safer

Health & Wellbeing

The handwashing system will help health teams to save time in such a busy period, by reducing the number of times they have to walk back and forth to sinks

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Spotted: Designed in direct response to a survey of care professionals in Lagos, Nigeria, the portable hand washing cart, “For the Community, By the Community”, solves one of the most urgent challenges facing health teams. Rather than spend time they cannot spare walking to and from sinks in fixed locations, individuals wheel the cart along ward rounds for instant sanitisation access.

Created by Lagos-based company nmbello Studio, the sink is modular, made from easily obtained parts and materials and designed explicitly for local manufacture. It provides contactless hand washing and the 25 litre water kegs underneath the sink equal those used by rural water carriers, providing a familiarity to the design that makes it comfortable to see and use.

Requiring only a two hour charge to run for up to 48 hours, the system works via battery-powered micro submersible pump. With two prototypes already in action on hospital wards in the city, the team plans to produce six more in the early months of 2021. They are also focusing on additional development, such as upscaling production and exploring partnerships with recycled plastic waste companies for sink, tap and bin moulds. The sink unanimously won the 2021 Life-Enhancer of the Year Wallpaper Design Award.

With hospitals around the world facing a crisis such as hasn’t been seen in years, designers are rightly examining ways in which to enhance their efficiency and accessibility. Recent examples we have spotted include drive-through clinics offering in-car primary care in hospital car parks, and temporary living units that allow family members to stay close to patients in intensive care units.

Written by: Keely Khoury

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