Liberia joined the global community in celebration of the International Infection Prevention Week from 15 – 20th October “Protecting Patients Everywhere”. The theme highlighted the importance of maintaining a safe environment through good IPC practices for patients thus reducing the risk of the spread of disease from person to person. Commemoration of the day provided education and awareness to individuals, patients, and their families on the importance of IPC.
The observance of the week was established in 1986 by former United States of America President Ronald Reagan and the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) as a collaborative effort to highlight the importance of infection prevention among healthcare professionals, administrators, legislatures, and consumers. The celebration of the week during the last ten years has received worldwide recognition; consequently, many patients are benefiting from civil health care practices and reduce threats of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs).
The 2018 World IPC Week was observed by the Health Care Quality Management Unit of the Ministry of Health (MOH) in collaboration with World Health Organization (WHO), Center for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), the Academic Consortium Combating Ebola in Liberia (ACCEL) and other partners.
Appearing as a guest on the live radio talk show, Mr. Garrison Kerwillain, Infection Prevention, and Control Coordinator, MOH emphasized that the provision of quality healthcare through infection prevention and control is paramount for health practitioners globally. Mr. Kerwillain indicated that there is an urgent need to create awareness for quality health services for individuals, patients, and their families so that they understand that control and prevention measures should not be taken for granted.
Speaking also during the interview, Mrs. Zainab Sirleaf- Snoh, WHO-Liberia Infection Prevention and Control Officer, highlighted the importance of IPC practices at healthcare facilities, in homes as well as the communities. She stated that keeping patients safe is everyone’s responsibility. Quoting available statistics, Mrs. Snoh indicated that approximately one (1) in 25 patients will contract Healthcare-Associated Infection (HAI) and about 75,000 of those patients will die. Ending her remarks, she reiterated that adherence to good IPC practice save lives, reduces the transmission of HAIs and the burden of hospital expenses.
Activities undertaken in commemoration of the World IPC Week included indoor programs at 17 referral hospitals across the 15 counties, street parades, radio talk shows, and awareness creation on the importance of hand washing in 10 rural schools try led by the counties Infection Prevention and Control Officers and the Health Promotion staff.
Health Information and Promotion officer
Tel : +(231) 776532008
Email: lakev [at] who.int
National IPC Officer
Tel : + (231) 777653442
Email: sirleafzainab2g14 [at] gmail.com