Infection, Prevention and Control (IPC) measures and standards in health facilities are critical towards prevention of any infectious diseases amongst and between health workers, patients and the public such as care – givers and visitors.
In Solomon Islands, an IPC guideline was developed and in recent years a National Infection, Prevention and Control (NIPC) programme was established in the Ministry of Health. One of its key task was to review and update the national IPC guideline.
With IPC a key component to COVID-19 preparedness and response, the guide was updated to also align with COVID-19 IPC standards. Following updating of the guide, a 3 days IPC workshop was recently conducted to train participants on the newly updated IPC guide for implementation across the country.
Around 50 participants comprising of identified IPC officers in the provinces including selected nurses from NRH and Ministry of Health nursing department attended the training.
Opening the training workshop, Dr Nemia Bainivalu MHMS Deputy Secretary Health Improvement (DSHI) and Incident Controller, National Health Emergency Operation Centre (NHEOC) thanked the participants for their attendance and participation in the training.
“Your participation is important and I sincerely thank you all for attending. This training while it is part of the NIPC programme annual operational plan, it is also critical towards current efforts against COVID-19 as enhancing and maintaining good IPC at health facilities remains integral to the current COVID-19 preparedness and response”,
“Implementation of this updated IPC guide will ensure that our health facilities continue to preserve the health of our people seeking our services and also that of our health workers and the rest of the public. That said I wish you all well in the training and God’s blessing and guidance as you return to your respective provinces to implement this guideline”, said Dr Bainivalu.
Following the training, participants now know how to implement the NIPC Guidelines 2021 at health facilities and other relevant areas, understand IPC linkages in country and enhanced understanding on chain of infections and how to stop transmission. There is also now increased knowledge and skills for better competency to IPC procedures and its applications, strengthened hand hygiene practices through hand hygiene auditing, evaluation and reporting. Participants were also able to identify strengths and weaknesses on the state of affairs related to infection, prevention and control of health facilities. This also includes how to strengthen Infection, prevention and control and preparedness for COVID-19 and appropriate use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs).
The workshop training is supported by the WHO and SPC. Ministry of Health remains grateful towards continued partnership with these wonderful partners in this regard.
For COVID-19 preparedness and response, the NIPC programme have conducted total of 148 IPC trainings for 2,190 people comprising of frontline workers and support staff, health workers and those from other relevant sectors operating at the ports of entry, quarantine stations and isolation wards and health facilities both in Honiara and the provinces.
NIPC remains an important component of COVID-19 health preparedness and response especially in the prevention of spread of COVID-19 virus beyond government managed facilities and to the communities as well as safety of all COVID-19 workers.