Implementation of the WHO hand hygiene strategy in Faranah regional hospital, Guinea
Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control
Healthcare-associated infections are the most frequent adverse events in healthcare worldwide, with limited available evidence suggesting highest burden in resource-limited settings. Recent Ebola epidemics emphasize the disastrous impact that spread of infectious agents within healthcare facilities can have, accentuating the need for improvement of infection control practices. Hand hygiene (HH) measures are considered to be the most effective tool to prevent healthcare-associated infections.
... ated infections. However, HH knowledge and compliance are low, especially in vulnerable settings such as Guinea. The aim of PASQUALE (Partnership to Improve Patient Safety and Quality of Care) was to assess knowledge and compliance with HH and improve HH by incorporating the WHO HH Strategy within the Faranah Regional Hospital (FRH), Guinea. In a participatory approach, a team of FRH staff and leadership was invited to identify priorities of the hospital prior to the start of PASQUALE. The local hygiene committee was empowered to increase its activities and take ownership of the HH improvement strategy. A baseline assessment of knowledge, perception and compliance was performed months before the intervention. The main intervention consisted of local alcohol-based-hand-rub (ABHR) production, with final product efficacy testing, in conjunction with a training adapted to the needs identified in the baseline assessment. A follow-up assessment was conducted directly after the training. Effectiveness of the intervention was assessed via uncontrolled before-and-after comparison. Baseline knowledge score (13.0/25) showed a significant increase to 19.0/25 in follow-up. Baseline-Compliance was 23.7% and increased significantly to 71.5% in follow-up. Compliance rose significantly across all professional groups except for midwifes and in all indications for HH, with the largest in the indication "Before aseptic tasks". The increase in compliance was associated with the intervention and remained significant after adjusting for confounders. The local pharmacy successfully supplies the entire hospital. The local supply resulted in a ten-fold increase of monthly hospital disinfectant consumption. The WHO HH strategy is an adaptable and effective method to improve HH knowledge and compliance in a resource-limited setting. Local production is a feasible method for providing self-sufficient supply of ABHR to regional hospitals like the FRH. Participatory approaches like hygiene committee ownership builds confidence of sustainability.