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In collaboration with its agencies, the Ministry of Health (MoH) has launched the National Infection Prevention and Control Strategy in Accra.

Set to be implemented between 2024 and 2028, the strategy aims to prevent, reduce, and control Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAIs) and Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) ultimately improving patient safety and health outcomes.

Additionally, it seeks to establish an active integrated Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) program, develop national IPC guidelines, strengthen education and training in IPC, establish a system for HAI and AMR surveillance, and monitor or audit IPC practices with feedback.

In his keynote address, Hon. Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, the Minister for Health, underscored that preventing harm to patients, health workers, and other users from infections in healthcare facilities was crucial for achieving quality care, ensuring patient safety, maintaining health security, and reducing Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAIs) and Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR).

Addressing the measures taken to prioritize infection prevention and control (IPC) during the COVID-19 pandemic, Hon. Agyeman-Manu mentioned the adoption of a behavioural strategy, policy adjustments, and updates to standards, training curricula, and programs.

He emphasized that despite continuous efforts, IPC faces numerous challenges. A notable one is the absence of a focal point for IPC within the Ministry.

He added that despite the challenges, the ministry and stakeholders remain committed to improving IPC in Ghana

Addressing the ongoing challenges, he underscored the absence of a focal point for IPC within the Ministry as a notable concern. However, he added that despite these challenges, the ministry and stakeholders remain steadfast in their commitment to improving Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) in Ghana.

The Chief Director of the ministry, Alhaji Hafiz Adam stated that the newly unveiled National Infection Prevention and Control Strategy, set to be in effect from 2024 to 2028, aligns with the WHO IPC Core Components and Minimum Requirements.

“It is envisaged that the full implementation of this document will contribute to the achievement of our national health vision of a healthy population for national development”, he said.

He highlighted this initiative as a game-changer, stating that it will complement the various interventions the ministry is already undertaking and ensure that the people of Ghana achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC) by 2030.

Prof. Francis Chisaka Kasolo, WHO representative to Ghana in his remarks, said that IPC practices prevent avoidable harm to patients and health workers and contribute to a reduction in healthcare costs.

“I am confident that the implementation of this strategy in an integrated approach with the involvement of all stakeholders, including the private sector and relevant civil society organizations will augment Ghana’s capacity in infection prevention and control,” he said.

Prof. Kasolo reiterated WHO’s dedication to supporting the development of a strong health system in Ghana where health facilities serve as centres of excellence providing much-needed services to the people in a secure environment.

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