National Infection Prevention, Control Strategy Launched

Kwaku Agyeman-Manu with the document


A strategy aimed at preventing, reducing and controlling Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAIs) has been launched in Accra.

The National Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) Strategy, a five-year strategy (2024-2028) seeks to establish a nationwide active integrated IPC programme as well as national preventive guidelines to improve patient safety and health outcomes.

Launched at the Ministry of Health (MOH), the strategy also seeks to address Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) challenges.

Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyeman Manu, outdooring the policy said results of a multi-centre point-prevalence survey of HAIs in 10 acute care government hospitals in the country revealed that 184 HAIs were identified among 172 patients.

According to him, this corresponds to an overall prevalence of 8.2 per cent, with higher proportions of infections in secondary and tertiary care facilities.

Mr. Agyeman-Manu noted that the most common HAIs were surgical site infections constituting 32.6%, bloodstream infections, 19.5%, urinary tract infections, 18.5%, and respiratory tract infections, 16.3%, with device-associated infections accounting for 7.1%.

He noted, “preventing infection-related harm to patients, health workers, and other users in healthcare facilities is crucial for achieving quality care, patient safety, health security, HAI reduction, and AMR.

It is also instructive to note that the emergence and re-emergence of pandemics such as COVID-19 have taught us vital lessons which we have to take seriously… The development of this National Infection Prevention and Control Strategy is our direct response.”

Mr. Agyeman-Manu said the strategy was developed in line with minimum IPC standard requirement as outlined in the World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines on core components of IPC programmes and aligned with the vision of the Ministry.

Furthermore, he said the implementation of the strategy would result in a reduction of occupational infections in health care settings, as well as the reinforcement of other national public health programmes like HIV, tuberculosis, hepatitis, maternal and child health, to achieve global health security goal.

“The development of the strategy clearly demonstrates the commitment of our health sector to improve health outcomes for health workers, patients and communities,” he added.

WHO Country Director, Prof. Francis Kasolo, stated that as nations across the world progressed in the implementation of roadmaps to deliver Universal Health Care (UHC), the IPC strategy, in addition to preventing avoidable harm to patients, would help lower healthcare costs.

He expressed optimism that the implementation of the policy in an integrated manner, with the participation of all stakeholders, including the private sector and relevant civil society organisations, would strengthen Ghana’s capacity for infection prevention and control.

“I look forward to a stronger health system where infection and prevention and control are a way of life and a primary approach for health service delivery, and not only a buzzword during health emergencies and outbreaks,” he said.

By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri