Planning for a safe hospital begins with the site selection, taking into account vulnerability in terms of accessibility, the terrain and hazards.

Construction of the new maternal and child hospital in Portovelo, Ecuador was quickly halted when the facility was affected by seasonal mudslides and flooding in February and March of this year.

This hospital was to serve a population of approximately 20,000 in five small towns in the southern Ecuadorian province of El Oro. Its high-risk location, in a valley ringed by mountains (although just one km from the municipal capital), is clearly evident from this photo. After recognizing that this is an at-risk hospital, local authorities immediately suspended construction