DUBAI - A leading international expert on infection control has called for independent disease prevention and control programmes to be set up in all healthcare settings. Gertie van Knippenberg-Gordebeke from the International Federation of Infection Control believes that it’s necessary for each healthcare location to introduce its own unique disease tracking protocols.
“To know what is going on in your own healthcare setting you must do surveillance to know what the problems are in your own hospital or nursing home,” she said. “Copying programmes and surveillance targets from other hospitals does not work because every healthcare setting in the world has its own needs and problems. Different problems require different solutions,” she added.
Preventing infections in hospitals continues to be a top priority across the globe. There has been wide media coverage of outbreaks of antibiotic resistant infections including MRSA, and more recently Clostridium difficile. These two infections alone have been attributed to the deaths of hundreds of patients worldwide. The worrying part for members of the public and policy makers alike is that the infections are acquired within healthcare settings.
It’s an issue Knippenberg believes should always be made a top priority for health services. Currently the statistics make for grim reading.
“More people die from hospital acquired infections as from car accidents,” she said. “In the USA hospital acquired infections are in the top ten causes of death,” she added.
Knippenberg will be participating at the Abu Dhabi Medical Congress (ADMC) to be held at the national exhibition centre in October. Simon Page, Group Director for the Life Science Division at IIR Middle East is delighted to have her on board.
“Gertie has broad experience of issues relating to infection control and has advised hospitals across the globe about how to fight infections, so it’s great that she’s taking time out of her busy schedule to impart her expertise and knowledge for health professional attending the congress,” he said.
Knippenberg is one of several high profile delegates participating at the ADMC this year. Along with infection control, experts will talk on a range of subjects across the healthcare sector. These include questions over patient safety and primary healthcare provision.
Issues in healthcare are constantly being addressed globally, and it is now part of the medical professionals job function to keep abreast of all the latest findings and protocols. Page believes the ADMC is crucial to that aspect of the job.
“The Abu Dhabi Medical Congress allows international experts to explain and convey up to date knowledge to medical practitioners. There’s always something new to learn,” he said. “I think there’s a real drive now within the medical community for the need for on-going training. The Abu Dhabi Medical Congress is at the forefront of this,” he added.
The Abu Dhabi Medical Congress will be held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre from 26-28 October. ((END))