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Ghana launches 5-year strategic plan on IPC in Accra

Ghana launches 5-year strategic plan on IPC in Accra

Ghana launches 5-year strategic plan on IPC in Accra

Mr Agyeman Manu (second from right) launching the strategy with other stakeholders • Mr Agyeman Manu (second from right) launching the strategy with other stakeholders
A five-year strategic plan on National Infection Preven­tion and Control (IPC) was yester­day launched in Accra.

The strategy, which is expected to be implemented from 2024 – 2028, aims at preventing, reducing, and controlling Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAIs) and Antimicro­bial Resistance (AMR), ultimately improving patient safety and health outcomes.

It is also to establish an active integrated IPC programme at the national level, develop national IPC guidelines, strengthen IPC educa­tion and training and establishing a system for HAI and AMR surveil­lance at the national level while monitoring/auditing IPC practices and feedback.

Launching the strategy, the Min­ister of Health, Kwaku Agyeman Manu, said preventing harm to patients, health workers and other users due to infection in health care facilities were fundamental to achieving quality care, patient safety, health security, reduction of HAIs and AMR.

He said available data from a multi-centre point-prevalence survey of HAIs in 10 acute care government hospitals in Ghana re­vealed that out of 2,107 in-patients surveyed, HAIs were identified among 172 patients, corresponding to an overall prevalence of 8.2 per cent (range 3.5% to 14.4%), with higher proportions of infections in secondary and tertiary care facilities.

“The most common HAIs were surgical site infections (32.6%), bloodstream infections (19.5%), urinary tract infections (18.5%) and respiratory tract infections (16.3%). Device-associated infections ac­counted for 7.1% of HAIs (MOH 2019),” he added.

Mr Agyeman Manu said the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic and other recent large disease out­breaks highlighted the importance of the IPC Strategy.

He said the ministry was work­ing to improve IPC infrastructure in Ghana which include building new hospitals and clinics that were equipped with the latest IPC facili­ties, adding that “by implementing effective IPC measures, health care workers can help to protect themselves and their patients from infections”.

Notwithstanding, Mr Agyeman Manu said IPC was faced with a myriad of challenges, but despite the challenges, the ministry and its stakeholders remained committed to improving IPC in Ghana.

He said the implementation of the policy would culminate in the reduction of occupational infections in health care settings, combating HAIs and AMR, rein­force other national public health programmes such as HIV, tubercu­losis, hepatitis, maternal and child health and achieving global health security goal.

The Minister, therefore, called on all stakeholders to support the implementation of the strategy to improve quality health care system in the country.

The Chief Director, MoH, Alhaji Hafiz Adam, said the IPC strategy aligned with the World Health Organisation (WHO)’s IPC Core Components and Minimum Requirements, and it was envisaged that the full implementation of the document would contribute to the achievement of the national health vision of “a healthy population for national development”.

The WHO Country Represen­tative to Ghana, Prof. Francis Chi­saka Kasolo, re-affirmed WHO’s commitment to supporting the building of a stronger health system in Ghana where health facilities become centres of excellence while delivering the much-needed services to users in a safety environment.

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