Clean hands can make a difference between life and death – WHO report |

coronavirus pandemics and outbreaks of other diseases have shown the extent to which health facilities can contribute to the spread of infections.

COVID-19 The pandemic has exposed many challenges and gaps in IPC in all regions and countries, including those with the most advanced IPC programs.” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO CEO.

“Unprecedented Opportunity”

Today, out of every 100 patients in acute care hospitals, seven in high-income countries and 15 in low- and middle-income countries will contract at least one healthcare-associated infection (HAI) during a hospital stay—one in ten them will die. .

The report shows that neonates and intensive care patients are particularly at risk, and nearly half of all cases of sepsis with organ dysfunction in adult intensive care units are healthcare related.

WHO for the first time Global Infection Prevention and Control Report combines evidence from scientific reports and new data from WHO research.

“It also provided an unprecedented opportunity to take stock and rapidly increase outbreak preparedness and response through IPC practices, and to strengthen IPC programs throughout the health system,” the WHO chief said.

Making a case

According to the WHO, the impact of health-care-associated infections and antimicrobial resistance on people’s lives is incalculable.

More than 24% of patients with healthcare-associated sepsis and 52.3% of patients treated in intensive care units die each year.

In addition, mortality increases two to three times when infections are resistant to antimicrobials.

Focused on regions and countries, a new WHO report provides an analysis of the situation with the implementation of IPC programs on a global scale.

Looking at the harm that HCAI and antimicrobial resistance cause to patients and healthcare workers, it also highlights the impact and cost-effectiveness of infection prevention and control programs and the strategies and resources available to governments to improve them.

Data analysis

Over the past five years, WHO has conducted global surveys and participatory country assessments to assess the state of implementation of national IPC programmes.

When comparing survey data from 2017–2018. and 2021–2022 the percentage of countries with a national IPC program has not improved; and in 2021-2022, only 3.8% of countries had all the minimum IPC requirements at the national level.

According to a 2019 WHO survey, in healthcare facilities, only 15.2% met all minimum IPC requirements.

encouraging developments

However, some encouraging progress has been made: significantly more countries have appointed IPC focal points; special budgets for IPC and a curriculum for the training of frontline health workers; national IPC guidelines and programs for HCAI surveillance; Hand hygiene compliance has been established as key national indicators.

With strong support from WHO and others, many countries are scaling up efforts to implement the minimum requirements and core components of IPC programmes.

Sustaining and further expanding this progress in the long term is a critical need that requires urgent attention and investment.

Investment required

“Our challenge now is to ensure that all countries can provide the necessary human resources, materials and infrastructure,” Tedros said.

WHO calls on all countries to increase investment in IPC programs not only to protect patients and health workers, but also to improve health outcomes and reduce health and personal expenses.

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