The global novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is presenting challenges unprecedented in modern times. From the health implications of the Coronavirus outbreak to the shortage of equipment, facilities and supplies to handle its spread, to associated impacts to communities, businesses and economies, our societal resilience is being tested on many fronts. And it is clear that rapid responses to the impacts of the pandemic are needed. 

Communities across Africa are known for their resilience and optimism. And a number of interventions are being put in place aimed at promoting the best possible scenario outcome for communities to survive, together. However, there is still immense uncertainty about the impacts of the pandemic and what the future holds, in the short, medium, and long-term – and we need to plan for every possible scenario. 

Amid these uncertain times, as a Global company, we remain focused on our purpose of how can we help societies thrive in a world we do not control? The need to help our clients and communities prepare for a rapidly changing future and unforeseeable events is at the core of who we are as a company. 

We have as such pooled our global resources to increase our capacity of specialised skills adept at designing and delivering on projects across healthcare facilities, health, safety and environmental services, as well as scenario planning for resilience. Find out more on our Global activities during the COVID-19 pandemic and where we can help your organisation prepare, respond and recover.

Additionally, in Africa, one area of response to the COVID-19 pandemic that potentially presents a significant threat and the greatest opportunity is the availability of essential health services and infrastructure. 

As numbers of positive confirmed cases continue to rise across regions healthcare systems are already under increasing strain. Providers should be considering as part of their scenario planning the potential need to rapidly ramp up the number of beds available, for example. 

Globally, WSP has been at the forefront of helping our healthcare clients with their rapid response and have specialist COVID-19 experience in meeting such needs. 

WSP can help our clients repurpose large open-space venues, such as convention centres, arenas, and stadiums, to manage the surge. We can help healthcare providers maximise the advantages and overcome the challenges of using these types of venues, with our  rapid response engineering services – and we have developed a 7-step plan that can facilitate the fast-tracked transformation of such venues, from inception to operationalisation. 

Drawing on our vast experience providing emergency management services, healthcare, and high containment laboratory design, we are well positioned to assist healthcare providers operating in Africa in mobilising resources and scaling up healthcare capacity, at speed, to respond to this fast-evolving crisis.

Our expertise


  • Professionals provide facility assessments, site adaptation design, commissioning, quality assurance and project management.
  • Experts provide rapid prototyping design solutions that ensure facilities protect workers and patients in a healthcare environment.
  • Research has enabled us to develop options for ventilated headboards and our experience includes Respiratory Intensive Care Units (RCIUs).

We are:

  • Healthcare advisors
  • Mechanical and electrical engineers
  • Structural engineers
  • Sustainability consultants
Download our Rapid Response Healthcare Factsheet