ICAP, in partnership with CDC’s International Infection Control Program, is collaborating with the Ministry of Health in Tanzania to launch a regional community of practice to rapidly enhance infection, prevention, and control (IPC) at scale. The goal is to reduce morbidity and mortality by preventing COVID-19 and health care-associated infections in low-resource settings. The project aims to enhance the capacity of hospital-based IPC Focal Points to support compliance with IPC standards throughout their facilities by using a regional approach.
Ethiopia joined the ICAP East Africa IPC Community of Practice in July 2020 as a founding member of the regional infection prevention control (IPC) learning network. To ensure the well-being and safety of patients, healthcare workers, and community in Ethiopia during the COVID-19 pandemic, ICAP is partnering with the Federal Ministry of Health and health facilities in Amhara, Bishoftu, and the Addis Ababa. To address IPC challenges by the COVID-19 emergency, IPC focal persons and healthcare providers are receiving training and technical support through ICAP’s regional south-to-south IPC network.
Implementation of IPC Programs in Ethiopia During COVID-19
In September 2020, Ethiopia launched updated national IPC guidelines for COVID-19 and has a national technical working group that oversees the implementation of IPC practices at facilities. IPC data is collected at the national and facility level.
The working group has drafted resources that are implemented nationally, including a National IPC Training Manual that was developed in October 2019 for program managers and healthcare service providers.
Prior to joining the network, the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) in Ethiopia had issued a national interim protocol for COVID-19 IPC in April 2020. The plan included a preparedness and response protocol for facilities to respond to the emergency.
Despite these preparations, the onset of COVID-19 stockouts of IPC supplies have been reported in terms of glove, medical masks, respirators, gowns, aprons, and alcohol-based rub.
In July 2020, Kenya join the ICAP East Africa IPC Community of Practice as a founding network member. Recognizing the need to strengthen emergency preparedness response for IPC across the country, the Ministry of Health in Kenya selected four public health facilities and two private health facilities to join the network. ICAP is partnering with Ministry of Health and healthcare facilities identified across four sub-counties to to enhance the capacity of hospital-based IPC Focal Points to support compliance with IPC standards in response to the COVID-19 emergency.
Implementation of IPC Programs in Kenya
Kenya’s national IPC guidelines were last updated in October 2015 to standardize practices throughout the healthcare system. A national technical working group oversees the implementation of IPC practices at healthcare facilities and convenes to respond to emergencies across the healthcare system, including COVID-19. The Kenyan Ministry of Health also has a National IPC policy for the implementation of the guidelines and national action plan focused on IPC outcomes, processes, and strategies. Kenya collects IPC data at the national, subnational and facility level.
Despite widespread national lockdowns and curfew since the onset of COVID-19, the COVID-19 has brought new IPC related challenges to the healthcare system in Kenya. Stockouts of IPC supplies have been reported, efforts to improve IPC best practices and respond to the COVID-19 emergency have become essential.
ICAP is responding to the challenges presented by COVID-19 pandemic by partnering with the Kenyan Ministry of Health and CDC to leverage IPC best practices across the East Africa region.
In Tanzania, ICAP works to enhance the capacity of hospital-based IPC focal persons to support compliance with IPC standards throughout their facilities by reinforcing the knowledge of IPC standards and best practices, building capacity to design and lead quality improvement projects, and fostering the exchange of best practices and diffusion of innovation within and between countries via a robust south-to-south learning network.
Project implementation involves IPC focal persons from five referral hospitals, namely, Amana Hospital, Muhimbili National Hospital-Upanga, Muhimbili National Hospital-Mloganzila, Mwananyamala Hospital in Dar es Salaam and Tumbi Hospital in Pwani region.
Coming soon, more information IPC in Uganda.
Tools & Resources
- IPC Prevent and Control Interim Guidance – WHO
- Harmonized Health Service Capacity Assessment in the Context of COVID-19
- Telehealth Guide Final (PDF)
- National Comprehensive COVID-19 Clinical Handbook Second Edition (PDF)
- PHEOC Health Care Waste Management COVID-19 SOP April-2020 (PDF)
- Ethiopian Health Care Facility COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Protocol March-2020 (PDF)
- National IPC Policy 2015 (PDF)Past Webinars