When it comes to infection prevention and control (IPC), there is no “them”. There is only “us”.
We all are only as strong as our weakest link. As such, to strengthen infection prevention and control (IPC) activities in Nigeria, we had an activity-filled week from 21st – 25th February 2022, with a team from the US CDC Atlanta and Infection Control Africa Network (ICAN) South Africa visiting us in Lagos, Nigeria.
The activities began with a 2-day workshop for the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC’s) IPC Orange Network: a network of health facilities around the country that are becoming centers of excellence in infection control and patient safety; places that deliver quality care to everyone.
We helped NCDC welcome 16 new facilities into the network, making 41 health facilities total in all 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The workshop was an introduction for these new facilities to understand what is required from them as members of the Orange Network, how to establish Infection Prevention and Control programs in their health facilities, and the support they will be given along the way. One important part of the workshop was having participants from existing Orange Network facilities share perspectives and experiences on their IPC journeys so far.
Additionally, the representatives of each facility made presentations on the baseline IPC assessments they conducted in their facilities to showcase their current strengths and weaknesses. Participants also developed action implementation plans as well as monitoring and evaluation plans to ensure they were ready to return to their locations and begin the work of improving the quality of patient care and reducing the spread of infections.
On the same day, we also had strategic meetings with US CDC to review and evaluate Nigeria’s IPC Diploma Curriculum course.
We spent the rest of the week on the move.
Led by the IPC lead of the College of Medicine, University of Lagos Teaching Hospital, Prof. Folasade Ogunsola, the US CDC and ICAN team met with the management of the College of Medicine, Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), represented by the Chairman of the Medical Advisory Council (CMAC).
The CMAC warmly welcomed us and thereafter led us on a tour to visit selected wards and units including a new intensive care unit (ICU) which is currently under construction, 2 cancer centres, and their dental clinics.
Overall it’s clear that Nigeria is making great strides in making infection control an everyday practice for the health sector to keep patients and health workers safe.
There is still a lot to be done, but this week demonstrated that our collective progress is clear. We are always delighted to forge partnerships that help establish more IPC-compliant health facilities and to support the national action plan for IPC. Step by step, we will “Turn Nigeria Orange”.
Here’s a sneak-peek video to summarize the events that happened this week: