The Ministry of Health continues to further enhance Infection, Prevention, and Control (IPC) measures in health facilities along the border, ahead of the reopening of borders on the 25th of July 2022.

As part of this effort, a refresher training was conducted this and the previous week on the National IPC guideline 2021, for health care workers, medical and public health officers including corporate service staff in health facilities along the Western Border, mainly in the Shortland, Western Province, and health workers across health facilities in Choiseul province.

A team of two from the Ministry of Health, the National Coordinator of Infection Prevention and Control Program Jane Saepioh and Health Promotion Officer, Dian Maggie Row, were in the province to support the IPC team to conduct the training.

The purpose of this training is to increase the knowledge and skills of healthcare practices on the current evidence-based information on the implementation of the national IPC guidelines 2021 on preventing and controlling the spread of infections within healthcare settings, with the perception that provides motivation for individuals to change behavior and practice.

Dr. Nemia Bainivalu, Incident Controller, National Health Emergency Operation Centre (NHEOC) of the Ministry of Health explained that apart from the borders reopening, health continues to record several COVID-19 positive cases that are of concern in Western and Choiseul provinces hence the prioritization of these two provinces for the roll-out of the IPC training.

“Furthermore, such training is also important to strengthen the preparedness of health workers for possible future outbreaks of diseases. Therefore, we are pleased to have deployed our national team to support the provincial health teams to conduct the training and sensitize our health workers on the new IPC guideline”, highlighted Dr. Bainivalu.

The Incident Controller thanked the provincial health directors, facilitators, and participants for great teamwork that will go long way toward ensuring any gaps and potential areas for infectious diseases to transmit amongst and between health workers, patients, and visitors are mitigated.

The deployment and training were made possible through the funding support of the World Bank under its emergency response project and in the fight against COVID-19 and ongoing efforts to strengthen and improve health systems.

“A huge thank you to the World Bank for the funds that have enabled the IPC training to happen. In fact, funds provided by World Bank have made significant contributions toward health’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak from meeting operational costs, hundreds of thousands of IPC and PPEs supplies, to the procurement of accessories for COVId-19 testing machines among many others”, thank you very much World Bank, said Dr. Bainivalu.

Provincial Health Directors for both provinces, Dr. Dickson Boara for Western Province and Mr. William Timba for Choiseul thanked the NHEOC for the deployment of the national team to support the province while emphasizing the importance of the training due to ongoing border crossings along the western border that may intensify once borders fully open.

Source: Press Release, Ministry of Health and Medical Services