Cameroon hospital gets helping hand from GCU researchers

GCU’s Safeguarding Health through Infection Prevention (SHIP) Research Group is behind the launch of a hand hygiene study in Cameroon which has the potential to to reduce the spread of infections in hospitals across Africa.

The project “Building capacity for healthcare associated infection and antimicrobial resistance surveillance in Cameroon,” is backed by £9,853 from the University’s Global Challenges Research Funding

The study taking place in Banso Baptist Hospital is being conducted in collaboration with Infection Control Africa Network (ICAN) and supported by a donation of 1,500 bottles of hand sanitiser from Gama Healthcare.

The first main aim of the project is to increase capacity for healthcare-associated infection and antimicrobial resistance surveillance in a setting with low resource by providing expert infection prevention and control training.

The second is to provide alcohol-based hand rub at each bed in the surgical and maternity wards and monitor the effect of the new intervention in infection prevention before and after the pilot study.

Lead researcher is Professor Lesley Price said she hopes that the greater availability of hand rub will improve healthcare workers hand hygiene practices and reduce the number of healthcare associated infection acquired by the patients in these units.

The hospital already produces its own hand rub but until now only had small bottles that staff kept in their pockets and they are often forced to care for patients with no running water. Hand hygiene is one of the most effective strategies to reduce healthcare associated infection.

Professor Price said: “Lessons learnt from the implementation of alcohol-based hand rub at the point of care in the hospital will be shared with ICAN members to encourage its implementation across Africa.

“We are very grateful to GAMA for the generous donation of 1500 bottles of alcohol-based hand rub to support this project.

“This project is important to the hospital as it provides their staff with expert training and supervision to enable them to implement a new healthcare-associated infection surveillance system in the hospital.

“Banso Baptist Hospital is innovative. It has already introduced the local manufacture of hand rub but this project brings together GCU and ICAN to support them in extending this provision to the patient’s bedside.”

The latest infection prevention project is one of four that the SHIP team is steering around the world including Uganda and two in Brazil.

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