“The very first requirement of a hospital [is] that it should do the sick no harm.” Florence Nightingale
Progress in modern medicine and increased knowledge about the importance of hygiene resulted in the overhauling of hospitals and the construction of new, larger, more suitable buildings that were better laid out. It was now known that contamination between patients should be avoided by placing beds at a good distance from one another, cleaning surgical instruments, etc. Employees were given specific training as nurses and laboratory assistants and for other relevant roles. The British social reformer Florence Nightingale remains a symbol of innovation in nursing. Hospitals in large cities and dispensaries in less urbanised areas helped to reduce mortality, in particular infant mortality. Contact between European medicine, which was based on the major scientific discoveries of the 19th century, and Arab medicine, with its rich traditional know-how, was particularly fruitful.
Military Infirmary


Beirut, Lebanon

Yusuf Aftimus

This hospital in Beirut was typical of the construction of large modern hospitals in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and its layout took into consideration progress made in medicine and hygiene.

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