A Global Fight Against Infectious Disease

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From the Ebola virus to the COVID-19 pandemic, infectious disease outbreaks have rocked the globe in recent decades.

Given the dramatic consequences of the spread of these infectious pathogens, the World Health Organization is developing the first ever Global Report on Infection Prevention and Control.

The report provides a global situation analysis of infection prevention and control. It also highlights strategies for improvement and works to establish priorities at the global and national levels.

The report identifies three core areas of focus:

  1. Political Commitment by Enacting Policies: These policies are meant to help scale up and enforce the eight core components of infection prevention and control programs. This would involve sustained financing, legal frameworks and systems for accreditation.
  2. Building Capacity and Expertise: This area focuses on including infection prevention and control training as well as continuing education efforts across the different levels of health care and different health disciplines. Another part is making sure that infection prevention and control is embedded within all clinical pathways, as this is critical to influencing the quality of health care delivery and patient access.
  3. Developing Systems to Monitor, Report and Act on Key Data: This would mean surveillance for health care-associated infections as well as emerging sentinel pathogens. It would also require monitoring for a range of infection prevention and control (IPC) and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) indicators. Finally, it would need an efficient management of the supply chain.

For these three key priorities to be successfully implemented, and to ensure timely and equitable patient access, collaboration across the different stakeholders at the national and global levels is imperative.

The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the need for continued investment in programs such as infection control and prevention to ensure quality care and patient access – and to protect patients and health workers across the globe.