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PHCC Marks International Infection Prevention Week (IIPW)

19 Oct 2023

The Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) celebrates the International Infection Prevention Week (IIPW), bearing the slogan “Celebrating the Fundamentals of Infection Prevention”, which takes place on October 15-19.

This year, PHCC’s IIPW campaign targets all PHCC staff and health center patients, as well as community members to raise awareness of the importance of infection prevention, establish good infection prevention practices, and encourage community and staff working at health centers to follow proper procedures and practices to prevent infection and reduce illness and deaths resulting from infection.

“PHCC strives for establishing strategies for proper procedures and practices to prevent infection through lectures and workshops delivering health education, as adhering to personal hygiene and proper cough and sneeze etiquette is a key element for infection prevention,” said Dr. Ahmad Hashem, Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) Coordinator at PHCC’s Communicable Diseases and Infection Prevention Department.

This year’s campaign will also focus on spreading comprehensive awareness among staff and patients at health centers to prevent the spread of infection, given that many microbes are transmitted through direct contact or at the workplaces, offices, etc.

COVID-19 pandemic shed light on the vital role of IPAC practitioners in fighting this invisible enemy. They continue to actively work in preventing health care-associated infections and flu outbreaks and overcome other daily infection-related challenges.

PHCC ensures to prevent infection at health centers by providing alcohol-based detergents and raising awareness among its staff and health center patients about hand hygiene through holding events and creating educational material.

Dr. Hashem added that IPAC team has prepared some activities to engage health center staff and patients and coordinated with PHCC’s Corporate Communications Department to support this campaign through the media and social media platforms. In addition to delivering awareness lectures through online platforms in both Arabic and English languages.

Daily lectures will also be delivered to health center staff during this week-long campaign, focusing on hand hygiene and infectious diseases surveillance. PHCC staff will also receive daily text messages to raise awareness among them.

Additionally, patients in health centers will be encouraged to participate in this campaign, and those participating will be given educational materials.

Hand washing with water and soap is one of the most effective and inexpensive ways to prevent the spread of many kinds of pathogenic infections, such as diarrhea and pneumonia, the major cause of mortality among children. Every year, around 3.5 million children under the age of 5 years die due to diarrhea and pneumonia.

He added that antibiotics are a powerful weapon against bacterial infections, but they do not work against viral colds and the flu, noting they should be used only when necessary.

To limit the spread of infections that cause respiratory diseases, such as influenza, severe pneumonia, and COVID-19, cough and sneeze etiquette should be followed.