Eritrea: Consensus Building Workshop On National Infection Prevention Control Guidelines and Training in Eritrea

Infection prevention and control (IPC) is a scientific approach and practical solution designed to prevent harm caused by infection to patients and health workers. In line to the Universal health coverage (UHC) roadmap, the MOH in collaboration with WHO have conducted a workshop for finalization of the guideline on the 3rd July 2019. This was followed by training on IPC for focal persons in Orotta and Halibet hospitals, at the NCEW Hall from 17 to 21 June 2019.

The workshop was officially opened by Mr Berhane Gebretnsae, Director General of Medical Services, who said that ensuring good IPC avoids harm, and at times even death, saves money, reduces the spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and supports delivery of high quality health services. He added that high-quality health care is an essential component of UHC, as clearly articulated in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). The workshop was attended by 50 people from wide array of specialties and rich discussions were made on the content of the guideline, especially with the newer methodologies of procedures.

Following the consensus meeting, practical training on the guideline was conducted for IPC focal persons in Halibet and Orotta Hospital. Some of the topics included:

Introduction to Infection Prevention and Control and Health Care Associated Infections (HAIs)

Processing of instrument and other medical devices

Injection safety

Asepsis and Aseptic Technique in Selected Clinical Procedures

Hand hygiene

Dr Gertrude Avortri, Medical Officer from WHO Inter-country Support Team facilitating the workshop highlighted that effective IPC programe leads to 30% reduction in health care associated infections. She also emphasized that IPC is imperative in handling outbreaks. The existence of strong quality programes and capacity helps to create the foundation for resilient health services and systems that can adequately prepare for and respond to disease outbreaks. There were 30 participants in the training, who expressed their sincere gratitude at the end of the training and highlighted the necessity of the updated communication of practical IPC procedures received in the workshop, which will better the service delivery quality.

In his closing remarks, DG said that a well-integrated, high-quality health services can be the basis for effective prevention, detection and response to public health emergencies. He assured the participants that MOH will work in collaboration with other partners on strengthening IPC and quality in health care for resilient health services.

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