Hand hygiene initiative aims to decrease healthcare-associated infection in developing countries

October 22, 2007

An open-access commentary in the December 2007 issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology examines a recently launched a global initiative by the World Health Organization (WHO) to combat healthcare-associated infection by improving hand hygiene in health care. The commentary is part of the Global Theme Issue on Poverty and Human Development. An international collaboration organized by the Council of Science Editors of simultaneously published research from more than 200 medical and scientific journals , the Global Theme Issue aims to raise awareness of the relationship between poverty and human development.

Authors Benedetta Allegranzi, MD (World Alliance for Patient Safety, World Health Organization), and Didier Pittet, MD, MS (Infection Control Program, University of Geneva Hospitals, Geneva), note that healthcare-associated infection is a major patient safety problem found in every hospital, healthcare system, and country.

The risk of healthcare-associated infection is 2 to 20 times higher for patients in developing countries than for patients in industrialized countries. A complex array of factors contribute to that increased risk, including lack of resources, inappropriate use of antibiotics, use of counterfeit drugs, understaffing and lack of training of health care professionals, and governments that are overwhelmed with larger health issues and cannot commit to infection control procedures and standards.

The WHO recently launched the First Global Patient Safety Challenge, "Clean Care is Safer Care," to reduce healthcare-associated infection worldwide. "The First Global Patient Safety Challenge represents an unprecedented initiative to improve infection control practices and procedures in any healthcare setting, regardless of the level of economic development," explains Dr. Pittet. "Never before in the history of infection control has there been such an opportunity to improve the health of so many millions of individuals by promoting basic but essential practices through the powerful channels of the WHO, which allow the involvement of governments and influence their healthcare systems." The ministries of health from 43 countries have already signed the pledge to reduce healthcare-associated infection and another 20 are expected to join by the end of 2007.

The WHO developed guidelines on hand hygiene in health care based on scientific evidence and international expertise. A multimodel implementation strategy will turn the guidelines into practice and will suggest feasible ways to induce changes that will result in increased hand hygiene compliance and reduced morbidity and mortality due to healthcare-associated infection. Part of the effort is to make the indications for hand hygiene universally understandable and not open to interpretation. It focuses on only five points when hand hygiene is required when providing health care.

A worldwide pilot test of the strategy and tools is under way to evaluate the feasibility, sustainability, cost-effectiveness and cultural adaptation of a multimodel strategy for hand hygiene improvement.

"Results obtained from the worldwide testing will be invaluable in helping to shape scale-up and sustainability worldwide and will go a long way to ensuring that infection control practices continuously improve and contribute to enhanced patient safety," conclude the authors.
-end-
For more information about the Global Theme Issue on Poverty and Human Development and for a complete list of participating journals, please visit http://www.councilscienceeditors.org/globalthemeissue.cfm.

The following articles appear in Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology as part of the 2007 CSE Global Theme Issue on Poverty and Human Development. All articles are freely accessible to all visitors to the Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology home page on the Chicago Journals Web site, http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/ICHE.

Malani P. Addressing poverty and human development--synonymous with infection control. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2007;28:000-00.

Allegranzi B, Pittet D. Healthcare-associated infection in developing countries: simple solutions to meet complex challenges. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2007;28(12):000-00.

Caniza MA, Maron G, McCullers J, et al. Planning and implementation of an infection control training program for healthcare providers in Latin America. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2007;28:000-00.

Phillips EK, Owusu-Ofori A, Jagger J. Bloodborne pathogen exposure risk among surgeons in sub-Saharan Africa. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2007;28:000-00.

Garcia C, Iglesias D, Terashima A, Canales M, Gotuzzo E. Use of ivermectin to treat an institutional outbreak of scabies in a low-resource setting. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2007;28:000-00.

About Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology: Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology provides original, peer-reviewed scientific articles for anyone involved with an infection control or epidemiology program in a hospital or healthcare facility. Written by infection control practitioners and epidemiologists and guided by an editorial board composed of the nation's leaders in the field, ICHE provides a critical forum for this vital information.

About the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology: Founded in 1980 to advance the application of the science of healthcare epidemiology, SHEA works to maintain the utmost quality of patient care and healthcare worker safety in all healthcare settings. It upholds its high success rate in infection control and prevention, while applying epidemiologic principles and prevention strategies to a wide range of quality-of-care issues. SHEA is a growing organization, strengthened by its active membership in all branches of medicine, public health, and healthcare epidemiology.

About the University of Chicago Press: Founded in 1891, the University of Chicago Press is the largest American university press. The Journals Division currently publishes forty-seven periodicals and serials in a wide range of disciplines, including several journals that were the first scholarly publications in their respective fields. Online since 1995, the Journals Division has also been a pioneer in electronic publishing, delivering original, peer-reviewed research from international scholars to a worldwide audience.

University of Chicago Press Journals

Related Health Care Articles from Brightsurf:

Study evaluates new World Health Organization Labor Care Guide for maternity care providers
The World Health Organization developed the new Labor Care Guide to support clinicians in providing good quality, women-centered care during labor and childbirth.

Six ways primary care "medical homes" are lowering health care spending
New analysis of 394 U.S. primary care practices identifies the aspects of care delivery that are associated with lower health care spending and lower utilization of emergency care and hospital admissions.

Modifiable health risks linked to more than $730 billion in US health care costs
Modifiable health risks, such as obesity, high blood pressure, and smoking, were linked to over $730 billion in health care spending in the US in 2016, according to a study published in The Lancet Public Health.

Spending on primary care vs. other US health care expenditures
National health care survey data were used to assess the amount of money spent on primary care relative to other areas of health care spending in the US from 2002 to 2016.

MU Health Care neurologist publishes guidance related to COVID-19 and stroke care
A University of Missouri Health Care neurologist has published more than 40 new recommendations for evaluating and treating stroke patients based on international research examining the link between stroke and novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Large federal program aimed at providing better health care underfunds primary care
Despite a mandate to help patients make better-informed health care decisions, a ten-year research program established under the Affordable Care Act has funded a relatively small number of studies that examine primary care, the setting where the majority of patients in the US receive treatment.

International medical graduates care for Medicare patients with greater health care needs
A study by a Massachusetts General Hospital research team indicates that internal medicine physicians who are graduates of medical schools outside the US care for Medicare patients with more complex medical needs than those cared for by graduates of American medical schools.

The Lancet Global Health: Improved access to care not sufficient to improve health, as epidemic of poor quality care revealed
Of the 8.6 million deaths from conditions treatable by health care, poor-quality care is responsible for an estimated 5 million deaths per year -- more than deaths due to insufficient access to care (3.6 million) .

Under Affordable Care Act, Americans have had more preventive care for heart health
By reducing out-of-pocket costs for preventive treatment, the Affordable Care Act appears to have encouraged more people to have health screenings related to their cardiovascular health.

High-deductible health care plans curb both cost and usage, including preventive care
A team of researchers based at IUPUI has conducted the first systematic review of studies examining the relationship between high-deductible health care plans and the use of health care services.

Read More: Health Care News and Health Care Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.