WHO releases a global strategy for infection prevention and control at the 75th World Health Assembly?


A recent draft released by the World Health Organization explained the new global strategy to address the gaps in infection prevention and control (IPC) programs that became apparent after the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The draft also highlighted strategies to ease the burden of multidrug-resistant microbial infections in a healthcare setting.

The draft lists eight major directions through which the global strategy for IPC is to be implemented. The strategy calls for governments and policymakers to demonstrate a visible commitment to ensure that legal frameworks and accreditation systems are in place to enforce IPC programs and provide access to resources.

The IPC programs aim to establish at least the minimum IPC requirements in all countries to ensure primary and long-term care, to achieve all the IPC core recommendations eventually. This includes national action plans and behavioral interventions and preparing for disease outbreaks, natural disasters, humanitarian crises, and other public health emergencies at local and national levels.

The implementation of the IPC strategy also requires coordination between the IPC programs and other healthcare programs related to surveillance of antimicrobial resistance in pathogens, provision for clean water, sanitation, and hygiene, occupational health, vaccination, tuberculosis, human immunodeficiency virus, maternal and infant health, et cetera. Additionally, the integration of IPC measures at all health service levels is also required to achieve the objectives of the IPC programs.

An important part of global IPC strategy implementation is the education of healthcare workers using a comprehensive IPC curriculum and the training of IPC professionals on standards and practices. Providing IPC professionals with empowerment and opportunities to progress in career pathways, as well as the development of resources to educate patients are also necessary.

The other important areas for effectively implementing the IPC strategy include collecting and analyzing laboratory and surveillance data on diseases and infections and developing and implementing improvement plans formulated from the collected data. IPC advocacy and awareness campaigns through various modes of communication, identifying and facilitating research in IPC areas with research gaps, and collaboration and networking with other stakeholders and partners to share information and expertise are also some of the proposed directions to achieve the IPC objectives.