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Ventilated workstation enclosures

VWS for AFB-Smear Microscopy

The Ventilated Workstation (VWS) was developed by the Global Laboratory Initiative working group that included the Stop TB Partnership, WHO, the Union, FIND, CDC, Germfree and other partner organizations. The Ventilated Workstation is specially designed for AFB-smear microscopy in developing regions.

  • Complete units available include exhaust blower and duct.
  • Multiple units can be shipped disassembled to reduce freight cost.
  • Units are also available with an optional HEPA exhaust filter and fan for Class I BSC operation (Biological Safety Cabinet)
More about the Ventilated Workstation (VWS) Project

According to the Report ‘GLI Update: Ventilated Workstation’ by Pawan Angra, MS, PhD, 7th National Conference on Laboratory Aspects of Tuberculosis, June 14, 2011, APHL TB Conference 2011: “Properly performed sputum smear examination is still the best technique to diagnose the infectious cases” and is the cheapest method. Standard protocol would generally require that these procedures be performed in a Biological Safety Cabinet (BSC), however in many locations where critical AFB-smear microscopy is performed, there are impediments to traditional BSC operation such as cost, certification, and maintenance– particularly true in certain developing and remote regions.


Germfree has extensive experience working with the CDC to develop facilities and equipment that has been deployed across the United States and the globe.


Facilitating equipment deployment to the farthest reaches of the Earth, the WHO is a key ally in delivering global health security.

An experts meeting was held at the CDC on September 15-16, 2009, to determine the specifications and requirements for a Ventilated Workstation (VWS) that could solve these challenges. The meeting was attended by: CDC, WHO, FIND, APHL, Health Canada, CU2HA, NHLS South Africa, NSF and Germfree. According to the report, the goal was to “Design a simple workstation cabinet to perform smear microscopy, minimal maintenance, no HEPA filter, and develop a guidance document with performance specifications to fabricate ‘Fan Box’ under local conditions.”

Germfree’s Ventilated Workstation (VWS) is the result of this comprehensive public and private cooperation in solving an important global health concern.
GLI Activities – Ventilated Work Station”, Pawan Angra, MS, PhD, APHL TB Conference 2011





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