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Infection Prevention and Control 2022: Infection control is safe health care for everyone, all the time

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Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) is a practical, evidence-based approach which prevents patients and health workers from being harmed by avoidable infection and as a result of antimicrobial resistance.

No one should catch an infection while receiving health care, yet, these infections can spread through outbreaks and many regular care practices, affecting hundreds of millions of people across the world every year.

Key messages for IPC week 2022

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Facts:

1 in 10 patients get an infection while receiving care.

Effective infection prevention reduces health care-associated infections by 30%. Patients have the right to inquire about the health facilities’ infection prevention methods and ask healthcare providers to clean their hands. Objectives:

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Raising awareness of the importance of infection control in health facilities. Improving behavior and achieving safer and higher-quality healthcare practices., Engaging healthcare workers in clean care prevention of infection.

Infection prevention and control includes a clean, hygienic environment

A clean and hygienic healthcare environment supports a health consumer’s right to access safe and high-quality care in an environment that makes them feel safe. A clean and hygiene healthcare environment also protects healthcare workers from infection in their work place. Environmental cleaning is an element of standard precautions and is an essential part of every infection prevention and control program.

The commission has a number of environmental cleaning resources to help support health service organizations maintain a safe, hygienic healthcare environment.

Infection prevention and control includes hand hygiene

Hand hygiene is the simplest and most effective intervention that everyone can use to stop the spread of infection. When performed at critical points during patient contact, hand hygiene prevents the onward spread of disease to patients and healthcare workers, and limits contamination of the healthcare environment.

Patients and members of the community should also use hand hygiene to protect themselves and others from infections, such as COVID-19. Hand hygiene can be done by either washing hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rubs.

The community learns about hand hygiene including promotional resources and factsheets, eLearning modules and guidance on implementing the National Hand Hygiene Initiative.

Infection prevention and control includes getting vaccinated

Vaccination is a simple and effective way to prevent the onward transmission of diseases, such as COVID-19, in the community and healthcare settings. Vaccination protects patients, healthcare workers, their families and the wider community from outbreaks of infectious diseases.

Infection prevention and control is breaking the chain of infection

Patient and healthcare worker safety is the fundamental goal of all infection prevention and control programs. Patient and healthcare worker safety can be achieved through the use of standard precautions and, when necessary, transmission-based precautions during patient care. Standard precautions and transmission-based precautions refer to a bundle of interventions that when used together are highly effective in breaking the chain of infection.

Infection prevention and control includes respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette

Infectious respiratory diseases, such as COVID-19, are spread through coughing and sneezing. As part of standard precautions, respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette must be practiced at all times during patient care by both the healthcare worker and the patient. Respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette involve:

Healthcare workers staying at home and not attending at work if unwell with a symptomatic respiratory illness

Covering sneezes and coughs to prevent infected persons from dispersing respiratory secretions into the air

Washing hands with soap and water after coughing, sneezing, using tissues, and after contact with respiratory secretions or objects contaminated by these secretions.

Infection prevention and control includes getting vaccinated

Vaccination is a simple and effective way to prevent the onward transmission of diseases, such as COVID-19, in the community and healthcare settings. Vaccination protects patients, healthcare workers, their families and the wider community from outbreaks of infectious diseases.

Prevention and control of deathly malaria disease

What is malaria

Malaria is a life-threatening disease that spreads when an infected mosquito bites a person. The mosquito transfers parasites into that person’s bloodstream. Symptoms of malaria include fever and shaking chills. Malaria is rare in the United States and common in tropical countries such as Africa and Asia. Malaria is treatable if it’s caught early.

How common is malaria?

Malaria is common in tropical areas where it’s hot and humid. In the United States, about 2,000 people get malaria every year. Worldwide, more than 220 million people get malaria annually. The majority of these cases occur in Africa and South Asia. Around 450,000 people die from the disease every year.

Where does malaria usually occur?

Malaria occurs all over the world, but it’s rare in the United States. It’s common in developing countries and areas with warm temperatures and high humidity, including:

Africa., Central and South America., Dominican Republic, other areas in the Caribbean., Eastern Europe., South Asia.

Islands in the Central and South Pacific Ocean (Oceania).

Who might get malaria?

More than 90% of malaria deaths occur in Africa, and nearly all of the people who die are young children. Malaria is rare in the United States. But people who are infected and travel to the U.S. can spread the disease if a mosquito bites them and then bites someone else.

Anyone can get malaria, but people who live in Africa have a higher risk of infection than others. Young children, older people and pregnant women have an increased risk of dying from malaria. People who live in poverty and don’t have access to healthcare are more likely to have complications from the disease.

What causes malaria?

People get malaria when an infected mosquito bites them. A mosquito becomes infected by biting someone who has malaria. The infected mosquito transfers a parasite into a person’s bloodstream, where the parasites multiply. Five types of malaria parasites can infect humans.

In rare cases, pregnant women with malaria can transfer the disease to their children before or during birth. Very rarely, malaria can transfer through blood transfusions, organ donations and hypodermic needles.

What are the symptoms of malaria?

Malaria symptoms usually appear 10 days to one month after the person was infected. Symptoms can be mild. Some people don’t feel sick for up to a year after the mosquito bite. Parasites can live in the body for several years without causing symptoms.

Signs of malaria are similar to flu symptoms. They include:

Fever and sweating, chills that shake the whole body, headache and muscle aches, fatigue, chest pain, breathing problems and cough, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting.

As malaria progresses, it can cause anemia and jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes).

How is malaria diagnosed?

A doctor or a nurse will examine you and ask about your symptoms and travel history. It’s important to share information about the countries you’ve visited recently so that your provider can clearly understand your risk.

To confirm a malaria diagnosis, your provider will take a sample of your blood and send it to a lab to check for malaria parasites. The blood test will indicate whether or not you have malaria and will also identify the type of parasite that’s causing your symptoms. This information helps your provider determine the right treatment.

Prevention

You should also take precautions to avoid mosquito bites. To lower your chances of getting malaria, you should:

Apply mosquito repellent with DEET (diethyltoluamide) to exposed skin, drape mosquito netting over beds, put screens on windows and doors, treat clothing, mosquito nets, tents, sleeping bags and other fabrics with an insect repellent called permethrin.

Wear long pants and long sleeves to cover your skin.

STI (sexually transmitted disease) Prevention for sexual health

A Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) is an infection that’s spread through sexual contact. This includes skin-to-skin contact.

In general, STIs are preventable. Almost 20 million new STI cases are diagnosed each year in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Trusted Source. Being mindful of sexual health and protection may help many avoid these infections.

The only guaranteed method to prevent STIs is to abstain from all sexual contact. However, when engaging in sexual activity, there are steps to limit the risk of STIs.

Protection before sex

Effective STI prevention begins before any sexual activity. Here are some steps you can take to reduce your STI risk:

Talk honestly with potential partners about both of your sexual histories. Get tested, along with your partner, before having sex.

Avoid sexual contact when under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Get vaccinated against the human papillomavirus (HPV), hepatitis A, and hepatitis B (HBV).

Consider, a medication that someone who is HIV negative can take to reduce their risk of contracting HIV. Use barrier methods every time you engage in sexual activity.

Having a conversation about sexual health with your partner is key, but not everyone with an STI knows they have one. That’s why it’s so important to get tested.

If you or your partner has an STI diagnosis, talk about it. That way you can both make informed decisions.

Sexual health practices

Using barrier methods can lower your risk of contracting STIs. These methods can include:

using external or internal condoms for penetrative intercourse, including with sex toys, using condoms or dental dams for oral sex, using gloves for manual stimulation or penetration.

Maintaining good hygiene before and after sexual contact can also help prevent STI transmission. This can include:

washing your hands before any sexual contact, rinsing off after sexual contact, urinating after sex to help prevent Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs).

For further information, email to [email protected], send only text messages to Dr Azadeh WhatsApp, 002207774469

Dr Hassan Azadeh, Senior Lecturer at the University of The Gambia, Clinical Director at Medicare Health Services.

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