Earth in Architecture: An Exploration of Malawian Vernacular and Healing
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Can a hospital be more than a center for treatment? Can it initiate a sense of healing in the individual as well as the community? The hospital in its early form was a facility meant to house the sick in ancient Egyptian temples. Prayers, sacrifices and dream interpretations were used in the healing process as well as quintessential medical procedures such as opium for pain and stitching of wounds. Monasteries were later established to accommodate travelers, the indigent and the sick. Hospitals were constructed next to Religious institutions but also utilized house calls for the wealthy class. Monasteries were also organized in cloisters which were places of retreats from the mundane. The idea of hospitals today is to diagnose, treat and heal patients which has proven to be effective with most diseases being prevented and eradicated entirely from our day to day lives. However, these conditions aren't as similar in Malawi. The origin of the word hospital is derived from the Latin word "hospitalia" meaning a place of refuge for guests and strangers. The need for effectively functioning hospital in Malawi is apparent, but the need to create a hospital that heals and creates a sense of community and tranquility for both the guest and wondering traveler is paramount.
- Masters Theses