Guidelines on core components of infection prevention and control programmes at the national and acute health care facility level

Publication date 1 November 2016 Category
  • Infection control
  • Acute Health
  • Infection Prevention
Publishing organisation World Health Organisation

Health care-associated infections (HAI) are one of the most common adverse events in care delivery and a major public health problem with an impact on morbidity, mortality and quality of life. At any one time, up to 7% of patients in developed and 10% in developing countries will acquire at least one HAI. These infections also present a significant economic burden at the societal level. However, a large percentage are preventable through effective infection prevention and control (IPC) measures.

These new guidelines on the core components of IPC programmes at the national and facility level will enhance the capacity of Member States to develop and implement effective technical and behaviour modifying interventions. They form a key part of WHO strategies to prevent current and future threats from infectious diseases such as Ebola, strengthen health service resilience, help combat antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and improve the overall quality of health care delivery. They are also intended to support countries in the development of their own national protocols for IPC and AMR action plans and to support health care facilities as they develop or strengthen their own approaches to IPC.

These are the first international evidence-based guidelines on the core components of IPC programmes. These new WHO guidelines are applicable for any country and suitable to local adaptations, and take account of the strength of available scientific evidence, the cost and resource implications, and patient values and preferences.

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