Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) is a collective responsibility of all healthcare staff, patients and visitors of hospitals, the Commanding Officer (CO) of the 37 Military Hospital, Col Seth Attoh has said.
He explained that Infection Prevention and Control was not an area of interest to only a few trained specialists, but rather it was the role of all stakeholders in the health sector.
Col Attoh said this yesterday in Accra at the launch of the International IPC week which was held on the theme “The future is infection prevention: 50 years of infection prevention.”
International IPC week is an annual event celebrated globally to emphasise the importance of infection prevention and control in healthcare facilities.
It is also to celebrate infection prevention teams all over the world.
He stated that the hospital environment sometimes posed a risk of contracting infections to patients and healthcare staff, adding that “in view of this every effort at infection prevention and control in healthcare facilities should be vigorously pursued.”
According Col Attoh, it had been indicated by a research that up to seven per cent of patients in developed countries and more than 10 per cent in developing countries would acquire at least one health care associated infection.
He said a large percentage of health care associated infections were preventable through effective infection prevention and control measures, stating that IPC was pivotal to quality health care delivery.
He said the World Health Organisation (WHO) required all levels of healthcare facilities to implement infection prevention control programmes and that the relevant guidelines had been provided for all healthcare facilities in the discharge of their duties.
The CO of 37 Military Hospital said Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) had been added to IPC because studies had shown that effective infection prevention and control could not be practiced without proper WASH.
He said series of activities had been lined up for the week-long celebration which included workshop, competitive inspections for all divisions, departments and wards to assess their level of compliance with IPC and an award ceremony.
The Deputy Director of Quality Assurance at the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr Mary Ashinyo, said the service was ready to partner the Ghana Armed Forces to build the capacity of health workers of the hospital.
She said guidelines would be developed to support workers in the discharge of their duties, adding that it was important to understand the transmission of infections and entreated all stakeholders to support in the fight against infectious diseases.
The Chief Nursing Officer, Clinical, Col Patience Owusu Aidoo, said the fight against infectious micro-organisms would never end and that healthcare providers should strive to ensure that healthcare was delivered in a safe environment for all stakeholders.
BY JEMIMA ESINAM KUATSINU