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Lack of infection control, prevention fuels antimicrobial resistance in Nigeria — OGUNSOLA

By Gabriel Olawale

A PROFESSOR of Clinical Microbiology, Professor Folasade Ogunsola has raised alarm over emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistance in the country, leading to  increasing incidence of healthcare associated infections.

Ogunsola who is a Consultant Clinical Microbiologist and Principal Investigator, Infection Prevention and Control, IPC, Curriculum Development Project,  warns that the problem may not be resolvable except Nigerians develop a culture of proper infection control and prevention.

Speaking during the Infection Prevention and Control, IPC, Curriculum Development Project Closeout and Certificate award ceremony held in Lagos recently, Ogunsola said numerous forces  driving the spread and emergence of antimicrobial-drug resistance include breakdown in infection control practices and procedures.

Ogunsola said the situation is made worse due to selective pressures created by overuse of antibiotics, “poor Infection Prevention and Control practices such as poor hand hygiene, lack of adequate cleaning and disinfection, inappropriate use of personal protective equipment among others.”

She pointed out that the fundamental issue in minimising transmission of infection within healthcare facilities remains careful and detailed attention to infection control practices as it forms major component of all health system.

“For us to combat  infectious diseases there is need for sustained IPC infrastructure and programmes should be built around a set of core components which includes guidelines, training, surveillance, multimodal strategies for implementing IPC, monitoring and evaluation among others.”

Recently, findings of the  IPC survey report on infection prevention and control in Lagos State, was publicly disseminated   even as health providers advocated  for the advancement of IPC practice in Nigeria

A curriculum was developed to ensure  proper integration  of infection prevention and control into clinical care in the state.

Speaking on the process of IPC Curriculum Development, Consultant Public and Occupational Health Physician/ IPC Specialist, Dr. Tochi Okwor said the curriculum was developed in such a way that benefiting practitioners would train others.

“Infection Prevention and Control, IPC Curriculum Development Project Closeout and Certificate award is the first indigenous training curriculum for infection prevention and control practitioners in Nigeria.

According to Tochi, who is Programme Manager of the project:“After 18 months of developing the curriculum, the first set of trainees was trained on the Basic IPC course at the College of Medicine UNILAG.

The training was designed in such a way that beneficiaries will be able to train other healthcare workers standard precaution and transmission base precaution.

“We also include advocacy, communication and behavioural change, and education using adult method models,” she noted.

Certificates were awarded to 22 graduating students who expressed their joy at the training and their motivation to go back to their institutions and make a difference. The training is a six month diploma course.


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