Sierra Leone has joined other countries the world over to commemorate World Hygiene Day on the theme: “Hand Hygiene Supports Safe Surgical Care”.
Cross section of the audience
Addressing the ceremony at the Princess Christian Maternity Hospital (PCMH) in Freetown, Deputy Minister II of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Madam Zuliatu Cooper described the practice of hand hygiene as a two way approach for both the patient and the health worker.
Deputy Minister of Health and Sanitation II, Madam Zuliatu Cooper
giving her keynote address
She reminded her audience that hand washing practice was a life-saving intervention during the Ebola outbreak and reduces the risk of infection.
Madam Cooper reiterated the need for the parent, patient, and the health worker, to observe all precautionary measures practiced during the Ebola outbreak, stressing the importance of infection, prevention control in all health facilities.
Commenting on the waste management and water system at the Princess Christian Maternity hospital, the Deputy Minister promised to engage in dialogue the Minister of Water Resources, Massada and the Freetown City Council to address the problem.
The Health Ministry, she disclosed is working towards providing accurate data and records on hospital care with a view to establishing a resourceful management system in the health facilities.
The Medical Superintendent, Princess Christian Maternity Hospital (PCMH), Dr. Alimamy Philip Koroma said they were able to provide hand washing stations at strategic locations in the hospital but faced with serious water shortage that would have helped to compliment the efforts of the cleaners and hygienists. He reminded his audience that infection; prevention control cannot be effectively implemented with the expected results in the absence of a perfect running water system and appealed for an urgent attention to address the problem.
Medical Superintendent, PCMH, Dr. Alimamy Philip Koroma
Dr. Koroma disclosed the training of over 600 clinical and non-clinical staff, the establishment of litter bins in every ward, and veronica buckets at strategic locations, and a developed system to motivate staff for infection, prevention and control (IPC) practice in the hospital.
Deputy Chief Medical Officer II, Dr. Amara Jambai re-emphasizes the need for hand hygiene practice both in the home and health facilities, adding that hand hygiene should be applied before the health worker touches the patient and commended the IPC Unit in the hospital for the good job in ensuring health worker and patient safety measures are practiced.
Chief Medical Officer II, Dr. Amara Jambai
Other highlights include statement by the Deputy World Health Organization (WHO) Country Representative, Dr. Abdoulie Jack, and presentation on the theme: “Hand Hygiene Supports Safe Surgical Care” by the IPC Focal Person, Princess Christian Maternity Hospital (PCMH), Sr. Christiana Kallon.
IPC National Coordinator, Madam Nanah Sesay Kamara
The programme was chaired by the IPC National Coordinator, Madam Nanah Sesay Kamara.