Health care workers in five Kenyan counties – Mombasa, Migori, Kakamega, HomaBay and Kisii – were taken through intensive Infection, Prevention, and Control (IPC) training to bring them up to speed on the implementation of rapid behavior change actions towards prevention and control of the new SARS-COV-2 variant targeting vulnerable groups among health care workers. The training further sought to increase awareness and attention regarding IPC in health care facilities with a focus on hand hygiene while also emphasizing the role of IPC leads and committees.
In Mombasa, the facility-based sessions that run between 8th -11th November aggregated 16 health care facilities in the six sub-counties in Mombasa – Nyali, Kisauni, Changamwe, Jomvu, Mvita, and Likoni. Facilitated by the technical leadership of the County Infection Prevention Control Coordinator, the training focused on the practical evidence-based approach that prevents patients and health care workers from being harmed by avoidable infections by adopting the proposed hygiene behaviour change model.
A total of 174 health care workers including nursing and clinical officers and facility-based public health officers largely formed the Infection Prevention Control Committees in their facilities.
The Mombasa session also integrated other emerging diseases which are important to the public health currently reported in the region being Cholera and Ebola as part of IPC and emergency response preparedness within the county.
In the Western counties, 197 representatives from 80 level 2 and 3 facilities were trained. The committees were producing, performing, and deploying various measures to uphold IPC in health care facilities including hand hygiene, vaccination, cleaning and disinfection, and health care waste management.
The participants were mostly comprised of clinical officers, nurses, medical laboratory technologists, and public health officers. There was a particular focus on medical laboratory technologists and public health officers, who are the first line of defense when it comes to disease surveillance and detection. They are often left out during training and activities targeting IPC.
The sessions focused on four main areas namely handwashing, vaccination, cleaning and disinfection, and health waste management, which, individually and cumulatively have a significant impact on the health of a health care facility.
Participants from both regions raised concerns about the under-prioritization of interventions, identifying major gaps between the focus on procurement of pharmaceuticals for treating patients versus seeming neglectful of WASH infrastructure in the same facilities.
Noting that prevention plays a major role in mitigating communicable diseases, they urged health care facilities to maintain the focus of the Covid-19 interventions on WASH facilities.
a). Mombasa County, Twitter PagePost
b) Mombasa County Facebook Post