Microbiological assessment of indoor air of teaching hospital wards: A case of Jimma University Specialized Hospital
BACKGROUND: Hospital environment represents a congenial situation where microorganisms and susceptible patients are indoors together. Thus, the objective of this study is to provide fundamental data related to the microbial quality of indoor air of Jimma University Specialized Hospital wards, to estimate the health hazard and to create standards for indoor air quality control.
METHODS: The microbial quality of indoor air of seven wards of Jimma University Specialized Hospital was determined. Passive air sampling technique, using open Petri-dishes containing different culture media, was employed to collect sample twice daily.
RESULTS: The concentrations of bacteria and fungi aerosols in the indoor environment of the wards ranged between 2123 – 9733 CFU/m3. The statistical analysis showed that the concentrations of bacteria that were measured in all studied wards were significantly different from each other (p-value=0.017), whereas the concentrations of fungi that were measured in all sampled wards were not significantly different from each other (p-value=0.850). Moreover, the concentrations of bacteria that were measured at different sampling time (morning and afternoon) were significantly different (p-value =0.001).
CONCLUSION: All wards that were included in the study were heavily contaminated with bacteria and fungi. Thus, immediate interventions are needed to control those environmental factors which favor the growth and multiplication of microbes, and it is vital to control visitors and students in and out the wards. Moreover, it is advisable that strict measures be put in place to check the increasing microbial load in the hospital environment.
KEYWORDS: Indoor air, Microbiological assessment, Sedimentation technique, Open-plate technique, Hospital environment, Bacteria, Fungi