HKS Architects and Engineers for Overseas Development have built a maternity unit in Uganda, using local materials, skills and technology to create a sustainable facility. The 275-square-metre Kachumbala Maternity Unit, which opened six months ago, can accommodate up to six births a day and offers hugely improved aftercare facilities to the town of Kachumbala. The building replaces a ward that comprised of just two rooms built in the 1950s, which served a population of 160,000, in an area that lacks a reliable source of water or electricity. Midwives were having to process paperwork in the same rooms as medical procedures, and only 40 per cent of expectant mothers in the district could access the facilities. Home births here are risky, and infant mortality rates in the region are high.