First global strategy on infection prevention and control
At the Seventy-sixth World Health Assembly, delegates decided on the first-ever global strategy on infection prevention and control (IPC), which builds on almost two decades of efforts led by WHO and partners. The strategy provides Member States with strategic directions to substantially reduce the ongoing risk of health care-associated infections (HAIs), including those that exhibit antimicrobial resistance.
HAIs are among the most frequent adverse events occurring in the context of health service delivery. The COVID-19 pandemic and recent major disease outbreaks such as Ebola virus disease, the Middle East respiratory syndrome and the Sudan virus disease have clearly exposed the existing gaps in IPC programmes in all countries.
The strategy sets a clear vision: by 2030, everyone accessing or providing health care is safe from associated infections. Its three key objectives are: to prevent infection in health care; act to ensure IPC programmes are in place and implemented; and coordinate IPC activities with other areas and sectors.
The strategy is focused on any setting where health care is delivered, across the health system; it is based on the principle of clean and safe care as a fundamental component of the right to health, which is equity driven, and which should ensure accountability and sustainability.
The global IPC strategy will be complemented by, and used in conjunction with, an associated global action plan and monitoring framework, that will be developed in 2023–2024.