Castries, Saint Lucia: Efforts at strengthening the health care system in relation to infection prevention and control (IPC) are underway following a five-day training workshop hosted by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).
The advanced IPC training provided participants with the opportunity to review the infection prevention and control policies and guidelines for health care services.
Country Programme Specialist for PAHO, Reynold Hewitt, called on the participants of the training to be advocates for infection prevention and control and ensure it is enforced in all health facilities.
“As go through this week, pay particular attention to the information you receive, condition your mind to ensure that the standards that need to be put in place are in place, and all of us in Saint Lucia, Saint Lucians as a whole will be a better place for your family and your friends. We would like to hear there are no more health care-associated infections HIA and communicable diseases occurring in our health facilities, but that’s a vision. But we can ensure that the numbers are reduced significantly where persons’ health is protected.”
Chief Medical Officer Dr Sharon Belmar-George says it is extremely important that the participants apply the knowledge gained from this workshop to their daily practices at the health institutions.
“The training today not only looks at, but it is also evidence-based. We look at our specific institutions to look at what is causing the increases and what causes the health care-associated infections. We are looking at protecting our patients who come in under our care. We also look at the measures to protect our health care workers because if our measures are not in place, all of our various levels of staff are also susceptible to getting sick while at the institution, and we are also looking at protecting the visitors and the families of the patients who are coming in. So, we have to look at it at not only the patient. The patient is very important who we are protecting, our health care workers and other family members as well.”
PAHO International Consultant for Infection Prevention and Control Kathryn Johnston believes this training will provide the participants with the tools needed to better incorporate the infection prevention and control protocols when providing health care services to the people of Saint Lucia.
“We are excited to extend that in these training programs teaching you, giving you the tools, what is necessary to develop infection prevention and control plans that will improve the quality of care, reduce the number of HAIs that are occurring in your institutions and protect your health care workers and to allow you to have sustainable programs.”
The training workshop focused on areas such as the monitoring and evaluation of health-care-associated infections HAI, causes and prevention of HAI and strategies for implementation of IPC practices, to name a few.