Infection Prevention Training & Intervention

Infection is a major cause of death and disability and avoidable harm in newborn babies.  Hospital-acquired infection is of course a problem worldwide, with low rates being widely recognised as a marker of high quality and safe care.

Vietnam, with a large population and a high burden of infectious disease is faced with a huge challenge implementing effective infection prevention and control.  Bacteria resistant to standard antibiotics are a threat world-wide, but are a particular problem in Vietnam. The relative ease of access to antibiotics, poor understanding of the need to carefully control their use, and inadequate infection control systems results in a high level of hospital acquired infections, and the development of multi-drug resistant bacteria, which are hard to treat, placing an additional strain on limited resources.

Newborns Vietnam and Da Nang Hospital for Women & Children launched a ‘Clean Hands Saves Lives’ campaign in 2014 and a two year infection prevention and intervention-training programme led by UK medical and nursing experts from Liverpool Women’s Hospital & The Royal Edinburgh Infirmary.

In 2015 we trained 10 doctors and 12 nurses in infection prevention and developed them as ‘infection prevention champions’ with the skills and understanding to competently implement changes in nursing and medical practice aimed at reducing infection.

This programme is ongoing, regular audits show that between 2014 and 2015 there was a 30% decrease in the rate of positive blood cultures (late onset sepsis – cultures done >72 hours of age) and a 20% reduction in risk of dyingwhere sepsis was the primary cause or a recognised major contributor to death.  There was also a significant decrease in the antibiotic days and number of babies on prolonged courses of antibiotics (>10 days).  Antibiotic stewardship to prevent emergence of resistance is a vital measure in any infection prevention programme.

The outcomes form this programme will provide evidence for recommendations for a national infection prevention training programme. 

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