7 December 2017

Nigeria: Experts Initiate IPC Curriculum in Health Institutions

As a strategy to reduce the alarming rate of infectious diseases in most health facilities, medical practitioners have initiated Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) curriculum which will be inculcated into the routine of both private and public hospitals across Lagos State to sanitise health workers, patients and visitors from infection.

At the roundtable session on dissemination of Infection Prevention and Control survey results and advocacy for IPC curriculum for diploma in IPC organised by health stakeholders in Lagos recently, the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Development Services, University of Lagos, Prof. Folashade Ogunsola noted that hospitals are home of diseases which health workers, patients and visitors to the hospital carelessly fall victim of. Ogunsola stressed that the importance of IPC is to train health workers to ensure that health facilities are diseases free and healthy.

"The healthcare facility, by the way it's structured, is a dangerous place. There are a lot of sick people in there so the possibility of catching something you didn't take to the hospitals is very high. What IPC does is anticipate the scenario and ensure that the way we practice healthcare is safe for healthcare workers, patients and visitors. What we had done is develop a curriculum to train in IPC and they are the ones who will drive IPC programmes in healthcare facilities, employed at the national level to drive it in the country. IPC is so fundamental.

"We are on a journey to institutionalise IPC in all health facilities at the state and national level. We recognise that some people have an idea of IPC but as long as it's not institutionalised and integrated into practice, we will always have healthcare associated infections. For instance, in the last Ebola outbreak, of the eight people who died, five were healthcare workers.

The Programme Manager, IPC Development Curriculum Project, Dr. Tochi Joy Okwor, said some facilities have IPC programme but lack standards."Budgeting for IPC is key and for it to be effective, there is need to be a dedicated team. We have facilities that budget for health facilities but there should be a budget specifically for IPC which none of the health facilities has. The most important thing is that health worker should be trained for IPC. Although they are exposed to it but the only missing link is the training which will bring about behavior change," she said.

Speaking on the essential of IPC and commending efforts made, the Commissioner for Health Lagos State, Dr. Jide Idris emphasised that disease outbreak occurs in hospitals and carelessly contacted by innocent health workers, patients and visitors.

Thus, he confirmed that the introduction of IPC if properly supervised will reduce the risk of contacting diseases in hospitals.

"IPC is very essential, it's a habit of culture that we need to inculcate, it's a preventive measure and the earlier we start the better because most of the diseases are from the hospitals and it requires IPC. It's a good development and I have to draw the attention of all the health workers into addressing this," he said.

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