WHO launches first ever global report on Infection Prevention and Control

pharmafile | May 6, 2022 | News story | Medical Communications  

A new report from WHO has highlighted the importance of effective IPC programmes, and shown that where good hand hygiene and other cost-effective practiced are followed, 70% of infections can be prevented.

The organisation shared the statistic that of every 100 patients in acute-care hospitals, seven of these patients in high-income countries, and 15 in low- and middle-income countries, will acquire at least one health care-associated infection (HAI) during their hospital stay.

The announcement arrives alongside WHO’s estimates that the full death toll associated directly or indirectly with the COVID-19 pandemic between 1 January 2020 and 31 December 2021 was approximately 14.9 million.

“These sobering data not only point to the impact of the pandemic but also to the need for all countries to invest in more resilient health systems that can sustain essential health services during crises, including stronger health information systems,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “WHO is committed to working with all countries to strengthen their health information systems to generate better data for better decisions and better outcomes.”

The organisation shared that those in intensive care and newborns are particularly at risk of HAI, with the report revealing that approximately one in four hospital-treated sepsis cases, and almost half of all cases of sepsis with organ dysfunction treated in adult intensive-care units are healthcare associated.

Oh average, one in every 10 affected patients will die from HAI.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed many challenges and gaps in IPC in all regions and countries, including those which had the most advanced IPC programmes,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director General. “It has also provided an unprecedented opportunity to take stock of the situation and rapidly scale up outbreak readiness and response through IPC practices, as well as strengthening IPC programmes across the health system. Our challenge now is to ensure that all countries are able to allocate the human resources, supplies and infrastructures this requires.”

Ana Ovey

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