USAID assistance boosts Mbouda Hospital’s best practices in infection prevention and control
Mbouda Hospital, one of the district hospitals in the West region of Cameroon, has been struggling with poor infection prevention and control (IPC) practices for years. Indeed, Cameroon’s 2017 report on the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Joint External Evaluation on International Health Regulations core capacity revealed that the country had little to no capacity in IPC.
To assess the magnitude of the issues, the Ministry of Public Health (MOH), with the financial and technical support of USAID through its implementing partner, Medicines, Technologies, and Pharmaceutical Services (MTaPS) Program and WHO, assessed IPC practices in some health facilities. The assessment revealed that the absence of trained and dedicated IPC staff in health facilities was one of the obstacles to the effective implementation of IPC practices.
Mbouda Hospital was one of those facilities assessed. Through MTaPS, USAID supported IPC training for the hospital staff. Mr. Gnitedem, the principal nurse, became an IPC champion who consistently challenges his colleagues to improve IPC best practices. The hospital is now very clean with hand washing stations in the various services.
It also attracts more clients who find it a welcoming hospital. In November 2021, Mbouda Hospital received the second prize of the cleanest facilities in the West region. Mr. Gnitedem said, “Before USAID’s support, we didn’t think that IPC was important, and it wasn’t uncommon to find trash everywhere inside and outside the hospital, creating a breeding ground for mosquitoes, and we were not giving a lot of importance to hand hygiene. You opened our eyes and you made us become leaders in IPC.”
The USAID assistance was possible thanks to Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) funding, which helps the beneficiary countries be well prepared to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious threats. As part of the GHSA work, MTaPS’ support is aimed at building capacities of countries to contain antimicrobial resistance.