Statement of Dr Kidong Park on the occasion of National Conference on Strengthening Infection Control, Preventing and Controlling Disease Transmission in Hospitals

Dr Kidong Park
27 March 2018

I am pleased to be here with you today at a national conference on infection prevention and control, IPC.

I would like to start my speech by giving 3 numbers as below:

  • 10%: 1 in 10 patients get an infection while receiving care.
  • 50%: More than 50% of surgical site infections can be antibiotic-resistant.
  • 30%: Effective IPC reduces health care-associated infections (HAIs) by at least 30%.

These numbers are to remind you about the risk of HAIs, and the importance of IPC.

We have witnessed that Viet Nam has recognized the importance of IPC and has made a lot of efforts to address IPC in healthcare facilities in last decades. In 2009 Ministry of Health issued circular 18. This circular is the first official policy on IPC for healthcare facilities in Viet Nam. After implementing circular 18, the organizational structure for IPC was established in nearly all hospitals; awareness of IPC among healthcare workers increased; and the central and local health sectors paid more and more attentions on IPC. But on the other hand, we also recognized that IPC in healthcare facilities is not yet at a satisfactory level. Some local healthcare facilities are still in poor condition in term of IPC. There is limited number of experts on IPC especially in peripheral level, and moreover, compliance with appropriate IPC practices is far from 100%. A recent increase in outbreaks from antimicrobial resistant (AMR) pathogens, are posing a serious threat to IPC in healthcare facilities.

Dear colleagues,

I understand the objective of today’s meeting is to call for commitment from YOU, healthcare facilities’ leaders by 2020, for 40% of central hospitals and provincial hospitals (equal to 200 hospitals) to implement surveillance on HAIs, and for 95% of hospitals to organize Hand-hygiene campaign, as indicated in the National Action Plan on IPC, period 2016-2020. Understanding many challenges remain, I believe that this goal is not impossible to achieve, if you commit on implement followings:

  • Strengthen monitoring all healthcare workers’ compliance on appropriate IPC practices
  • Review and reinforce IPC system in your hospital. IPC is not only for IPC department but also for all departments, and all staff
  • Use HAIs rate as an indicator of the quality assessment of your hospital
  • Invest on IPC. Actually IPC is an effective investment considering the current social situation of the hospital; an increase trend of AMR, an increase demand on quality health-care from patients, and a move to the financial autonomy of the hospital.

Finally I would like to take this opportunity to call YOU, healthcare leaders, for actions to strengthen ‘Hand Hygiene’. This is the most simple but the most effective IPC practice to address HAI. I would like to ask you to be a champion in promoting hand hygiene to prevent HAI.

WHO in Viet Nam commits to continue supporting in close collaboration with developing partners to achieve objectives of the National Action Plan (NAP) on IPC, period 2016-2020.

Thank you very much for your attention.

Dr Kidong Park