The Role of Spatial Design in Controlling Airborne Infection in Primary Healthcare Facilities

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Primary healthcare facilities, such as community health centers and family clinics, play an important role as the forefront of national healthcare services, primary healthcare facilities cater for a large number of patients and non-patients. The large number of users means the high degree of interaction, which may trigger the spread of diseases. Certain patients may bear certain types of diseases which could be spread through air. The objective of this study is to analyze the occurrence of airborne infection in the waiting area of primary healthcare facilities. In particular, this study attempts to examine the movement of particles due to airflow within the waiting area. The analysis of airflow was performed using the Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) analysis which could simulate the detailed airflow pattern within the space. Combined with the occupants’ activity data, the airflow pattern from the simulation study illustrates the possibilities of occurrence of airborne infection within a healthcare facility. Based on the simulation results, it could be possible to identify certain areas with higher possibilities of
airborne infection. The findings could become the basis to suggest alternative spatial arrangement of the waiting room to control airborne infection.