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World Health Assembly agrees on first-ever global strategy for Infection Prevention and Control

Posted: Saturday, May 27, 2023. 2:45 pm CST.

By Zoila Palma Gonzalez: The 76th World Health Assembly (WHA) is being held in Geneva, and member states have agreed on the first-ever global strategy for infection prevention and control (IPC).

This strategy builds on almost two decades of efforts led by the World Health Organization and its partners.

The strategy provides Member States with strategic directions to substantially reduce the ongoing risk of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs), including those that exhibit antimicrobial resistance.

The World Health Organization notes that healthcare-associated infections are among the most frequent adverse events occurring in the context of health service delivery.

“The COVID-19 pandemic and recent major disease outbreaks such as Ebola virus disease, the Middle East respiratory syndrome, and the Sudan virus disease have clearly exposed the existing gaps in IPC programs in all countries,” WHO noted.

The strategy sets a clear vision that by 2030, everyone accessing or providing health care is safe from associated infections.

Its key objectives are: to prevent infection in health care; act to ensure IPC programs are in place and implemented; and coordinate IPC activities with other areas and sectors.

The strategy is focused on any setting where health care is delivered, across the health system; it is based on the principle of clean and safe care as a fundamental component of the right to health, which is equity-driven, and which should ensure accountability and sustainability.

The global IPC strategy will be complemented by, and used in conjunction with, an associated global action plan and monitoring framework.


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