Rwanda: To Help Control Infectious Diseases, Hospital's Design Keeps Fresh Air in Mind
August 21, 2008
Health experts are taking a fresh look at how hospital design can help prevent the spread of airborne diseases like tuberculosis. "It's not revolutionary or difficult," said Dr. Peter Drobac, a clinical advisor with Partners in Health who is advising Rwanda's government on the construction of a new hospital in the Burera district. "But your average hospital in rural Africa would have long, dark hallways and the windows shut." In contrast, the new hospital in Rwanda will have outdoor walkways instead of enclosed halls, open-air waiting rooms, and large windows at different levels designed to circulate air. Big, open windows and high ceilings in hospitals promote better air exchange than mechanical ventilation systems, according to a Peru-based study, "Natural Ventilation for the Prevention of Airborne Contagion," published in Public Library of Science-Medicine (2007;4(2):e68 doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0040068).
New York Times
08.19.2008; Bina Venkataraman
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