Viral and bacterial infections threaten the health and well-being of adults and children in every environment – from highly developed, industrial nations to struggling, third-world countries. International Infection Prevention Week (IIPW), which takes place October 16-22, 2017, is a global campaign designed to zero in on healthcare’s shared mission: “Break the Chain of Infection.”
The Association of Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) recommends six strategies for breaking the chain of infection, one of which is proper hand hygiene. Consider how you can contribute to “Breaking the Chain of Infection” by implementing strategies like the following:
International Infection Prevention Week (IIPW)
The 2017 theme for International Infection Prevention Week is Antibiotic Resistance. Antimicrobial resistance has gained notoriety as one of the most pressing public health issues the world faces today. It is occurring everywhere in the world, compromising our ability to treat infectious diseases, as well as undermining many other advances in health and medicine.
The treatment for patients with antimicrobial resistant infections is costlier, requires additional testing and expensive drugs to treat. 25,000 deaths in Europe are attributable to antimicrobial resistance[i].
One of the objectives of the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance is to reduce infections by improving hygiene, sanitation, and infection prevention. The most effective and efficient means of infection prevention in the community and healthcare settings is hand hygiene.
Each of us – patients, families, and healthcare personnel – has an important role to play in keeping patients safe from infection. First and foremost, know the basics of infection prevention. Do your part – hand hygiene is key! Whether you’re in a healthcare facility or in the community, there are things healthcare professionals, patients, and family members can do to stay safe from infections.
The changes you introduce during this important commemorative week will create a foundation for hand hygiene compliance initiatives going forward.
[i] International Infection Prevention Week (IIPW)
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