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DEVELOPMENT REPORT – May 20, 2002: AIDS Clinic Competition - 2002-05-16

This is the VOA Special English Development Report.

An American organization called Architecture for Humanity has announced an international competition to design a traveling medical center. The organization says the medical center will be used to fight AIDS in Africa. The vehicle will carry equipment to test and treat people with the disease. Medical experts will also use the vehicle to provide information about AIDS and the H-I-V virus that causes it.

United Nations officials estimate that about twenty-five-million people in Africa are infected with AIDS or H-I-V. However, only about two-hundred-thousand victims living in cities are able to get treatment. AIDS victims living in farming areas rarely get the medicine they need. This is where traveling medical centers are needed.

Cameron Sinclair launched Architecture for Humanity in nineteen-ninety-nine. The organization supports using design to solve social and humanitarian problems around the world. Mister Sinclair says the competition is not restricted to just building designers. Anyone can enter a plan. He says the goal is to design a health center that medical experts could drive around Africa. Builders should be able to make the vehicle with materials found in Africa. The medical center should also be designed to help meet other health care needs of the population. For example, officials may also use the centers to treat people with malaria and tuberculosis.

Proposals must be received by Architecture for Humanity by November first. A team of health experts, building designers and research officials will judge the proposals. They will announce the winning plan in New York City on Worlds AIDS Day December first. Then, an example of the vehicle will be developed before a final version is built in Africa. In time, officials hope the traveling medical centers will be reproduced in other parts of the world.

There is no prize for winning this competition. Instead, Mister Sinclair says the winner will have the honor of creating a modern medical center that could save millions of lives. To find out more about the competition, write to Architecture for Humanity, one-six-five West Twentieth Street, New York, New York, one-zero-zero-one-one, U-S-A. Or, visit the group’s Web site at w-w-w-dot-architectureforhumanity-dot-org.

This VOA Special English Development Report was written by Jill Moss.