From November 23rd – 24th we attended and participated in the National Conference on Infection Control (NCIC) in Abuja. The conference was hosted by the Nigeria Infection Control Association (NICA).
The conference theme was Integrating Infection Prevention and Control into Healthcare Delivery: A National Priority.
Why all the focus on preventing infections in healthcare delivery? Think of it this way: as Dr. Sani Aliyu – Director General of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) – said during the conference, the reason modern medicine is successful is because of infection control, not necessarily the skill of the surgeon.
If you need a liver transplant and the health facility you go to is not using proper infection control practices, there’s a very high risk that you will die from getting an infection when your body is cut open and exposed. So apart from the usual risks of transplant surgery such as the skill of the surgeon and your body’s acceptance of the new liver, there are many other risks you can face as a result of poor infection prevention and control (IPC) practices. A lack of IPC can kill.
From the plenary sessions to the panel discussions to the oral poster presentations, the conference was a fantastic forum for sharing information and ideas, celebrating achievements, exploring issues and challenges, and coming together to decide on the best way to move IPC forward in Nigeria. We learned a lot and look forward to collaborating and supporting the great work that people all over the country are doing to protect health workers, patients, and the larger society from infections.
Some of the highlights and lessons learned were:
Some of our favorite quotes and messages shared during the conference include: