Infection prevention and control is one of the core values and objectives of World Health Organization (WHO). Infection prevention is a concept adopted by WHO aimed at assisting the member states to reduce the spread of infectious diseases through planning, implementation, and evaluation of infectious diseases at the national level.
The aim is to help curb the spread of such diseases. It is aimed at countering future threats, which are related to spreading of infectious diseases to patients and medical practitioners. Such threats include the recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa that claimed lives of thousands.
The key objectives of prevention and control of infections include:
The control of infectious diseases is a mandate required of any nation. It is a basic requirement aimed at managing disasters related to infectious diseases that can be hazardous and catastrophic if not well checked. A case in point is West African Ebola Outbreak and cholera infections in refugee camps and slums in Africa.
Prevention and control of Infections has gone a notch higher in the recent past. WHO has advocated ways such as telemedicine to counter any threat even in remote areas. Telemedicine is the delivery of health services to the remote areas through modern telecommunication infrastructure. It is enforced through consultation and advice to the people. This can help in dealing with an emerging situation in remote areas where medical services and practitioners are scarce.
This technology has enabled healthcare professionals to evaluate, diagnose, and offer medical help to patients in areas that are inaccessible using telecommunication. This has helped in curbing the spread of infectious diseases in time; hence, managing the spread of the disease.
The effectiveness of the plan is the cornerstone of an effective and quality health care program. The global health provider has stipulated eight core components that are fundamental in the execution of prevention and control.
The main aim of infection prevention program is to provide quality and safe delivery to the patients. However, the world health global survey published in 2015 found many shortcomings in the program. Of the 154 countries that had signed the memorandum, only 54 had the infection prevention program. This shows that many countries have relaxed, hence causing suffering to the people. The research also found out that hospitals were understaffed.
WHO recommends for a well-dedicated, clearly stipulated, and active programs to deal with these diseases. The objectives should be explained well, defined properly, and the functions stated with the aim of combating the diseases.
Every nation should adopt a well-defined guideline that aims at controlling and preventing infectious diseases. The guideline should support the performance of good practices. The guideline should also incorporate past findings that support local mechanisms of control and surveillance.
Industry players should adopt guidelines that go hand-in-hand with the national guidelines. The federal guidelines usually provide ways of dealing with infectious diseases, and we should follow them to the letter.
Health care workers need training on ways of curbing, controlling, and preventing infectious diseases. Countries should educate the health workers on how to deal with diseases such as cholera, which can claim many lives if not controlled. Educating the people is mandatory.
Communicable diseases are becoming common. Some drugs have adverse effects. Healthcare facilities should be under constant surveillance for such cases. We should report any case related to infectious diseases.
This is the application of several strategies to combat and control infectious diseases. This needs to be implemented through a system change, improving available equipment, and training. Multi-modal strategies need to be shared with the people. People they can also learn about ways of adjusting to the changing environment, which consequently helps in controlling the spreads of infectious diseases both nationally and locally.
The national policies require that we should be in constant evaluation of the practices stipulated, and give feedback so that their effectiveness can be evaluated. This can help in analyzing the effectiveness of the practice and provide avenues for improvement. The healthcare staff should train the community to handle such cases through basic education such as hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene, and management of surgical wounds.
Overcrowding in health facilities leads to disease transmission. Understaffed hospitals also experience staff fatigue, which reduces their effectiveness. Some cases of patients sharing beds have been reported, and this can spread infectious diseases. We should, therefore, advocate for more bed spaces in hospitals, and urge the government to consider employing more personnel in hospitals.
Local health facilities should be equipped with materials and equipment that can help in the fight against infectious diseases. Local health facilities serve during emerging issues including infectious diseases; hence, their environment must be safe.