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WHO calls for Strengthened Infection Prevention and Control in Countries

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Kampala, 23 October 2018:- There is an urgent need for countries to strengthen regional and national capacity in the areas of Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) given the ever increasing number of infectious disease outbreaks in many parts of the world.

This need was emphasized by the World Health Organization (WHO) at a three-day workshop currently going in Munyonyo, Kampala hosted by the organization’s Tackling Deadly Disease in Africa Program (TDDAP) supported by UK’s Department for International Development (DFID).

The regional workshop aims at synergizing country IPC and quality experiences and to design a plan that addresses current IPC issues and quality. Participants will also identify key country-priorities, strengths and gaps in IPC and quality as well as develop measures to strengthen them through national health systems and health security policies and plans.

The workshop will also inform the development of high-level summary briefs needed in WHO ’s strategic support to countries on IPC and quality under the TDDAP. It also provides an opportunity to address critical gaps and set priorities in the area of IPC

"We need to integrate our efforts to maximize synergies on IPC. This will ensure health systems remain functional, restore community trust and allow participation of all people in this important area of work", said Dr Yonas Tegegn Woldemariam, the WHO Representative in Uganda while opening the workshop. He commended the discussion on quality health services dedicated to IPC as timely and appropriate at this time.

Dr Woldemariam noted that Health security and Universal Health Coverage (UHC) are mutually reinforcing adding that "I am very encouraged to see the joint work created by the TDDAP across the three levels of the organization to strengthen IPC capacity of countries in the African Region.”

Quality care is an essential component of UHC as clearly articulated in the Sustainable Development Goals. Likewise, IPC is a practical and evidence-based approach with demonstrated impact on quality of care across all levels of the health system. Besides, the on-going Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in DRC and the potential danger to spread it poses for countries in the region especially Uganda, have put IPC capacity in sharp focus. Health workers are convinced that effective IPC following strict WHO protocols is one of the formidable weapons against the spread of EVD.

The workshop is attended by health officials from Cameroon, Chad, DRC, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Swaziland and Uganda. Officials from WHO Country Office in Cameroon, Ethiopia, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Uganda, as well as WHO Headquarters and WHO Regional Office in Africa are also present.