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Reinforced infection prevention and control protect health workers and patients

Teams of health care workers wearing yellow T-shirts and face coverings will spread out at several strategic locations all over the country this weekend to interact with members of the public on a one-to-one basis to sensitize them further on the necessity for COVID-19 infection prevention and control. Hand sanitizers and facemasks will be on offer to the lucky ones.

“This is all part of our overall effort to engage with the community to foster patient safety and health worker safety and is in line with the World Health Organization Theme for World Patient Safety Day this year,” says the Principal Secretary for Health, Dr Bernard Valentin.

Now that the COVID-19 contagion is showing no sign of declining, infection prevention and control (IPC), is ever gaining ground here and abroad. It is now among the priority prevention and control programmes of the department of health. Its aim is to protect health workers and patients alike and keep infections at bay.

Ms Rita Jean, coordinator of the infection prevention and control programme says that that programme has moved a long way forward during the past ten years. She has worked directly or indirectly with it for that long and has witnessed its evolution firsthand.

“We now have 90 focal persons working alongside our team of four people who man the programme centrally,” says Ms Jean. “Fifteen among those are health and safety officers in tourism sector establishments!”

Seychelles owes part of its COVID-19 success story to the intense, relentless and rigorous training provided by the IPC team over the past six months.

The team trains colleagues and builds the necessary synergy for infection prevention and control across the health system and beyond.

The world commemorates patient safety day on 17th September every year to draw attention to the unsafe practices that patients may and do come across while seeking health care. This year the focus is on achieving patient safety through the safety of health care workers. Infection prevention and control is right at the centre of the tempest.