Health facilities urged to consistently monitor infection prevention and control measures

Dr. Jacquiline Bisasor McKenzie
By Kimone Witter 
Administrators of public health facilities have been advised to monitor infection prevention and control measures and fix deviations when they occur.
The charge has come from Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jacquiline Bisasor McKenzie following Tuesday's release of a summary of the report from the Pan American Health Organization on the bacterial outbreak that resulted in the death of a dozen newborns at the Victoria Jubilee Hospital last year.
Dr. Bisasor McKenzie says the report has highlighted a breakdown in consistency practices which is likely happening in other facilities.
She says it is the Health Ministry's responsibility to ensure the necessary resources are available to health practitioners to effectively carry out their duties.
But the Chief Medical Officer says while yearly audits have identified deficiencies at health facilities, and efforts made correct them, it is the duty of staff to maintain the protocols, including carrying out basic cleaning in the facilities. 
"This is why we would have brought in from across the hospitals across the country, all of the persons in senior management, to say that these gaps should not happen. They have to be consistent. So everybody has to step up in terms of their practices, making sure that these gaps don't exist, or narrowing them as much as we can," Dr. Bisasor McKenzie said Wednesday in an interview on the Morning Agenda on Power 106.
The full report on PAHO's findings has not been released to the public.
Dr. Bisasor McKenzie said the organisation has expressed reservations, citing concerns that the report has technical information that requires the explanation of an expert.
She said the matter will be discussed on Wednesday.
The Chief Medical Officer added that the Ministry of Health will be increasing the frequency with which audits of facilities are conducted each year. 
As it relates to the shortage of nursing staff cited in the PAHO report, Dr. Bisasor McKenzie is optimistic that the new wage package from the government and an improvement in working conditions will reduce nurse migration and ensure they remain in the local profession longer. 
She said the Ministry of Health is also seeking to boost the cadre of medical officers. A document with the request is to be submitted to the Ministry of Finance following earlier discussions.

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