GCC adopts world norms in infection control

gcc-infection-controll-eventDOHA November 2009: GCC has adopted the World Norms for infection control which include, achieving zero tolerance in healthcare associated infections such as surgical site infections and multi-drug resistant organisms in hospitals across the region by 2012

The fourth annual meeting of GCC Centre for Infection Control (IC) and Training Course, which concluded here in Doha November 2009, has come to an accord that international standards and regulations on infection control should be closely followed to check the spread of infections in the GCC Healthcare sector.

“Infection Control is concerned mainly in controlling infection from within the hospital to the community,” said Dr Mamoun Al Sheikh, Assistant Executive Director of the Infection Control Programme at HMCHMC and the chairman of the conference. “Many of the healthcare workers are not aware of the standards charted out by international organisation. These regulations basically urges for appropriate management of drugs and vaccines. By the end of the sessions we have come to a conclusion to stress the need to follow these standards.”

The conference has stated that the most effective tool against all the infectious microbes is vaccine as long as it is given through proper channel. “Prevention is always better than cure and to achieve that goal we have highlighted the efficacy of the vaccine. Along with this, we have also stressed against taking anti-biotic without proper diagnosis and prescription. These recommendations further emphasize the need to follow international standards in IC practice.”

The conference was facilitated by experts from Gulf Center for Infection Control, Riyadh; Center and Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), USA; World Health Organization (WHO) and the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America.

The theme of the five day event was global challenges and local realities due to increasing epidemics. “We have many challenges like emerging and re-emerging of various infectious diseases, increase of muti-drug-resistant microbes and natural disasters that leads to disruption in the ecology. By 2012 we need to reach a zero tolerance to all the infections and Qatar along with leading healthcare facilities is close to attaining this,” he said.

The Infection Control section at HMCHMC had a special mention at the recent JCI accreditation event due to its high standard. “Qatar has one of the most advanced IC in the region and the capability of our team had surprised the representatives from international organisations. If we are not better, we are comparable to the international facilities,” said DR Yasser El Deeb, Chairman, IC control, Al Khor Hospital.

“These meetings help to ensure that there is very good cooperation in data transfer and in applying IC policies within the GCC countries. Hence there is a kind of unification or centralization of what we all do so that there is no major difference in all the hospitals of the region.”

A comparison of various hospitals is done using various determinants like the incidence of post-surgery infections in patients, presence of drug- resistant microbes and many others. A facility with very poor IC maintenance would have high incidence of post-surgical infections. There would be many multi-drug resistant microbes due to improper use of anti-virals or anti-biotics.

“The latest trend is zero infection rate which is very difficult to attain but Qatar is making a fast progress towards it. Our team here is capable to face any outbreak and investigate into various causes,” said Dr El Deeb.