UAE puts healthcare-associated infections under scrutiny

UAE puts healthcare-associated infections under scrutiny
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Published August 16th, 2010 - 09:19 GMT

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Healthcare-associated infection (HAI) affects hundreds of millions of people worldwide and is a major global issue for patient safety. HAI complicates between 5% and 10% of admissions in acute care hospitals in industrialised countries. In developing countries, the risk is two to 20 times higher and the proportion of infected patients frequently exceeds 25%. Knowledge and implementation of evidence-based strategies, surveillance and audit are the only weapons against the threat of healthcare associated infections.

Organised by IIR Middle East, the Infection Control Conference will take place as part of the Abu Dhabi Medical Congress (ADMC), from 17 to 19 of October, 2010, at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC). The conference will address the specific needs and issues related to the challenges of working in infection prevention and control, and will facilitate awareness of the global perspective and practices in the field of infection prevention for nurses and practitioners.

As Chair of the Infection Control Conference and Consultant Medical & Molecular Microbiologist, Sharjah Medical District, Ministry of Health, UAE, Dr Mansour Al-Zarouni, says: "Prevention of HAI is at the heart of patient safety. Many HAIs can be prevented through implementation of evidence-based "best practices."

"A number of guidelines are now available that provide recommendations for prevention of specific types of HAI. Two major limitations of most guidelines are that there is absence of recommendations regarding performance measures that can be used to assess the effectiveness of implemented intervention and there is lack of integration of resource requirements and feasibility. Monitoring of performance is critical for assessing the effectiveness of quality improvement interventions."

"In the United Arab Emirates, data is scant on the frequency of MRSA infection but it seems low compared with worldwide figures," says Dr Al-Zarouni. "Recent surveys of antimicrobial resistance and nosocomial bacteraemia in Tawam Hospital suggested that the incidence of MRSA among clinical S. aureus isolates was low.

"There have been a number of reports from Europe, the USA and the Far East that have confirmed the role of ESBL-producing organisms as important agents in nosocomial infections. ESBL stands for Extended Spectrum Beta-Lactamase, which are enzymes that have developed a resistance to antibiotics like penicillin.

"In the UAE, the prevalence of ESBL was shown to be 41%. However, in both cases the study populations were inpatients only. In 2002, Babay reported ESBL production in 36% of Enterobacteriaceae from inpatients in a hospital in Riyadh. More recently, 15.8% and 8.9% ESBL prevalence were reported in blood cultures and urinary isolates, respectively. Thus, compared to regional and international data, the ESBL detection rate described in Middle East region tends to be towards the upper end of the spectrum and is therefore a cause for concern."

Dr Al-Zarouni believes that correct information is the first step in change of behavior of health care professionals. The Infection Control Conference will provide the necessary momentum to address and answer important questions in HAI research.

At ADMC, more than 200 internationally renowned healthcare experts will take to the stage to discuss medical advances, service innovations and efficiency within Primary Healthcare, Patient Safety, Emergency, Rehabilitation and Physical Medicine sectors.

Running along side the Congress is a 5,000 sqm exhibition which will attract over 150 companies, looking to showcase their latest products and services and to broaden their business opportunities in these sectors.

Bactiguard, a company that uses latest technology to prevent HAI's, will be participating at ADMC for the third time.

"Bactiguard uses a unique and patented nano technology to coat medical devices such as Foley catheters, CVC's and ETT's. Clinical studies with over 80,000 patients shows that this technology reduces catheter-related infections by 30-50 per cent," says Peter Martensson, President, Bactiguard Middle East & Africa. "Bactiguard has decided to make the Middle East and GCC a priority market. To support our partners and end users we have also just established our regional HQ in Dubai."

Trade visitors have unlimited access to the exhibition, and may register their participation at any time during the event. 

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