Health is moving swiftly to further enhance Infection, Prevention, and Control (IPC) measures in health facilities along the border, ahead of the full reopening of our borders on the 25th of July 2022.
As part of this effort, a refresher training was conducted this and the previous week on the National IPC guideline 2021, for health care workers, medical and public health officers including corporate service staff in health facilities along the Western Border, mainly in the Shortland, Western Province, and health workers across health facilities in Choiseul province.
A team of two from the Ministry of Health, the National Coordinator of Infection Prevention and Control Program Jane Saepioh and Health Promotion Officer, Dian Maggie Row, were in the province to support the IPC team to conduct the training.
The purpose of this training is to increase the knowledge and skills of healthcare workers in practices on the current evidence-based information on implementation of the national IPC guidelines 2021 on preventing and controlling the spread of infections within healthcare settings, with the perception that provides motivation for individuals to change behaviour and practice.
Dr. Nemia Bainivalu, Incident Controller, National Health Emergency Operation Centre (NHEOC) of the Ministry of Health explained that apart from the borders reopening, health continues to record a number of COVID-19 positive cases that are of concern in Western and Choiseul provinces hence the prioritization of these two provinces for the roll-out of the IPC training.
“Furthermore, such training is also important to strengthened preparedness of health workers for possible future outbreak of diseases. Therefore, we are pleased to have deployed our national team to support the provincial health teams to conduct the training and sensitize our health workers on the new IPC guideline”, highlighted Dr Bainivalu.
The Incident Controller thanked the provincial health directors, facilitators and participants for great team work that will go a long way into ensuring any gaps and potential areas for infectious diseases to transmit amongst and between health workers, patients and visitors is mitigated.
The deployment and trainings were made possible through the funding support of the World Bank under its emergency response project and in the fight against COVID-19 and ongoing efforts to strengthen and improve health systems.
“A huge thank you to the World Bank for the funds that has enabled the IPC training to happen. In fact, funds provided by World Bank has made significant contributions towards health’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak from meeting operational costs, hundreds of thousands of IPC and PPEs supplies, to the procurement of accessories for COVID-19 testing machines amongst many others”, thank you very much World Bank, said Dr Bainivalu.
Provincial Health Directors for both provinces, Dr Dickson Boara for Western Province and Mr. William Timba for Choiseul thanked the NHEOC for the deployment of the national team to support the province while emphasizing the importance of the training due to ongoing border crossings along the western border that may intensify once borders fully opens.