According to WHO, the frequency of surgical site infection is up to nine times higher in low-income countries than in high-income countries. Furthermore, it is well established that clean indoor air reduces the risk of airborne transmission of viruses and other pathogens and postoperative infections. However, the technical solution used today to ensure required air cleanliness is expensive, advanced, energy- and space-demanding, and not very flexible. This is problematic and limiting, especially in low-income countries where safety ventilation hardly exists.


An alternative solution, consisting of an appropriate combination of local room air cleaner units and a pressure-controlled supply air fan-filter unit, can create the required air pollution control for general surgery even under unfavourable conditions and basically for premises of any kind.


To test the hypothesis in a scientifically valid manner, which is mainly done by verifying measurements of several optimized technical installations in different environments.


Several technology sets will be tested for different situations regarding, e.g. the air’s content of particles and bacteria, as well as the devices’ total power demand and noise generation. The tests will provide knowledge about capacity needs, etc. for different situations and conditions. With this as a starting point, tests will finally be carried out during surgery in the Panzi Hospital and the Celpa Hospital, both in the city of Bukavu, DR Congo. At the same time, an information material developed in parallel for sustainable operation and work routines for minimized spread of infection will also be tested.


To demonstrate that the alternative technical solution will be considerably less expensive, simpler, smaller, quieter, more energy-efficient, easier to understand and maintain, and more flexible than the traditional technical solution used today. In the long term, this could imply that more people can receive care, fewer people are contaminated or infected, and the preparedness and capacity are increased for important response organisations.


Formas, a government research council for sustainable development, fund the project. The total budget is SEK 3 million spread over three years.