MOH News
In Collaboration with JCI, SCHS Approves the 1st Diploma of Combating Infection
12 February 2013
The Director–General of MOH Health Facility Infection Control, Dr. Abdullah bin Mefarreh Asiri, has declared that the Saudi Commission for Health Specialties (SCHS) has approved, in collaboration with Joint Commission International (JCI), the first diploma of combating infection. It was agreed with 5 reference hospitals to host the trainees during the practical training, and 60 trainees were selected from different regions to join this diploma.
Dr. Asiri has confirmed that the general objective of the Health Facility Infection Control General Department, within the framework of MOH efforts to improve the services provided to the patients and to maintain their health and safety, is to promote the performance towards safe health facilities, free from infection for the safety of patients, health workers and visitors.
Moreover, Dr. Asiri has indicated that “in order to achieve this objective, the 2013 - 2017 strategic plan of the department has been prepared, aiming to train and evaluate the health employees at MOH health facilities in the basics of infection control, the surveillance and the central sterilization in 20 regions, as well as combating infection in dentistry throughout 15 regions. In addition, it aims to train and evaluate the health employees at MOH health facilities in the control approaches of the resistant microbes to antibiotics in 10 regions, conducting field visits, and the preparation of some programs such as the surveillance program, the employees' health program, the evaluation program, aside from other programs.”
In the same vein, Dr. Asiri has pointed out that MOH has established the Public Health Masters Program, in collaboration with Emory University in USA, noting that this program began in 1432H, targeting providing scholarships for 40 students to obtain the Master's degree in public health within 5 years. It is noteworthy that it was agreed that the course has been drafted to conform to the needs of the Ministry of Health and in concordance with the public health pattern prevailing in the Kingdom.
Furthermore, Dr. Asiri has placed a particular emphasis on “the importance of applying the principles and policies of infection prevention and control within the framework of the standards, scientific studies and the global systems. That's to be added to working to reduce the prevalence of infection at health facilities to be in line with the global rates, as well as the early detection of such infection, and making every effort to prevent and control the outbreaks in health facilities and their spread in the community environment.”
He went on adding that the main achievements and activities carried out by the Health Facility Infection Control General Department in 1433 AH is the establishment of an administrative system for the effective communication between the General Department and the concerned employees. That is to be added to the identification of the methods and approaches of applying the programs to combat the infection at the various administrative levels, aside from many other activities for upgrading the skills and knowledge of health employees in the field of infection control.
Over and above, Dr. Asiri has noted that the department has carried out many other activities for the year 1433H, most prominently is the participation in some committees to contribute to the implementation of combating infection programs and the establishment of 22 sessions on the basics of infection control in the regions, as well as starting a training program for three months, in coordination with Riyadh Health Affairs General Directorate, to prepare 25 sterilization technicians.
Dr. Asiri has further expounded that “seven courses on the medical laundries in various regions have been conducted targeting the supervisors of the medical laundries, in addition to a program for the electronic reporting on the epidemic explanations within the health facilities, so as to ensure the confidentiality and the reporting speed.” Finally, Dr. Asiri declared that a specialist team has been formed to launch an integrated program of epidemic survey on the health facilities infection based on the international standards.

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