Ever since the newborn unit has made significant strides to ensure reduction in mortality and morbidity of neonates. However, the spaces has been very anti-social with minimum interactions between the parents- neonates, parents - caregivers. Research has shown that such a setup has very low impact towards reducing pain and recovery on the neonate and stress and anxiety on the parents.
This study seeks to explore family centred design of newborn units, which research has identifies as a good strategy towards reducing the length of stay of the neonates and reducing morbidity and mortality in neonates. The study explores the different design strategies contemporary newborn units employ all over the world with the aim of making the unit more comfortable and habitable.
The investigation uses the case study method to conduct an exploratory study to determine the design parameters and operational principles that affect the design of family centred newborn units.
The study outlines the findings from Aga Khan Hospital, Kenyatta National Hospital and Rainbow Children’s Hospital. The hospitals have different kind of configurations, layouts and principles of operation. Rainbow children’s hospital focuses on giving family centred care to neonates with single family room layout. Aga Kahn focuses on giving a comfortable environment with average emphasis on family and uses a semi private layout. Kenyatta national hospital focuses on medical aspect having the largest population of neonates in the country and uses the open bay layout.
Fieldwork findings conclude that Kenyatta hospital employs few of the family centred design strategies while aga khan has a significant attempt toward a family centred care for neonates on the other hand Rainbow Children’s Hospital is one of the best family centred newborn units in the globe.
Family centred design is a modern trend in providing neonatal care by involving the family and has been proven to provide quality health care to the comfort of the neonate, the staff and the parents. Hospitals in kenya are beginning to embrace the parent as a core participant in the recovery of the neonate. however the spaces are not favourable for all this particpants. the design of newborn should take a holistic approach to not only design for the professional care givers and the neonates but also for the family-parents.