MOH News
MOH Applies Developmental Programs in the Infection Control Field
28 November 2014
His Excellency the Assistant Deputy Minister of Health for Preventive Health, Dr. Abdullah Assiri, revealed that the Ministry of Health (MOH), in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is currently applying a number of developmental programs in the field of infection control. 

The said programs aim at consolidating the preventive measures to protect the patients and workers in the health sector against the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV).

Upon his opening of a training workshop of evaluators of infection control in Riyadh region, which was held recently at the MOH's Headquarters, Dr. Assiri said the programs include a number of theoretical and practical activities to qualify a number of workers in the medical sector to work as inspectors, thus guaranteeing the application of standards of infection control at the health facilities. Elite of infection control consultants from the Saudi Central Board of Accreditation for Healthcare Institutions supervise the training of the evaluators. 

The MOH's objective is to have a qualified team of inspectors in each directorate, working as per a definite program and having the required authorities to impose the requirements for infection control. The team would have the full support of the director of health affairs and specialized departments in the Ministry. 

Dr. Assiri pointed out that the major challenges facing infection control is the lack and scarcity of qualified cadres, therefore the MOH is working on several axes to fill the gap, including its development of a qualifying diploma in infection control, from which around 40 trainees will be graduated annually. Also, coordination is currently underway with the medical services at the Saudi Aramco to get advantage of their partnership with the US Johns Hopkins University and send a number of health practitioners to the US to have short and intensified training courses in the field of infection control.

He noted that the MOH, during the last months, has trained more than 40,000 health practitioners at its facilities on how to curb the risk of infection at hospitals, adding that “The infection acquired in the health facilities is an international problem regardless of the type of the provided health services. The risks result from the interventions experienced by the patient during his hospitalization. Infection control is mainly based on training health facilities’ workers on methods of controlling infections and providing special requirements on infection control. The infection control programs are available at all health facilities targeting all employees. However, some workers are assigned to perform the duties of the infection control supervision.”

Dr. Assiri added, “We focus on a number of infectious diseases inside the health facilities that are more prevalent than others, such as the blood infections, surgical infections and urinary catheter infections. Certain ways of prevention are used for controlling these types of infections. The complete prevention may not be accessible, but there are ways to reduce them which is the ultimate goal of all infection control programs.”

He indicated that the MOH has implemented a broad program, in collaboration with the Saudi Central Board of Accreditation for Healthcare Institutions, to assess the readiness of health facilities to deal with the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV). The program included more than 418 hospitals; the majority of them are belonging to the MOH, and also a number of big private hospitals.

It is noteworthy that the said workshop targets the infection control practitioners in Riyadh region, whereas the Health Facilities Infection Control General Department, in collaboration with the Saudi Central Board of Accreditation for Healthcare Institutions and McKinsey & Company, organized a workshop for training the infection control evaluators in Riyadh region. 

The first part of the training program is a workshop and the second part is a practical training in hospitals. The workshop included lectures and active discussions about the use of evaluations forms; that is to be added to training attendees on the use of the different forms. The trainees showed a good understanding of the skills needed for a successful evaluation process, and they were also given the required forms for the evaluation process. 

The last part of the training process will start next week, Allah willing, at different hospitals in Riyadh region, where the trainees will carry out infection control evaluation operations under the supervision of specialized trainers in the field. After the trainee passes this test, he will carry out the evaluation process by himself. 



 



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