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CBCHS Celebrates Infection Prevention Anniversary 

By Willibroad B. Nformi — Cameroon Baptist Convention, CBC, authorities and stakeholders, recently celebrated the 10th anniversary of the CBC Health Board Infection Prevention Programme, IPP.

The celebrations which brought together CBC authorities, health officials, patients and the general public took place on the premises of the Banso Baptist Hospital, BBH, Kumbo.
The celebrations were organised under the theme: Infection Prevention in Facilities with Limited Resources; New Horizons, New Partnership.

Presenting the genesis of the IPP, the General Supervisor of the Programme, Jacob Nkwan, said the majority of deaths registered in most health institutions are as a result of infectious diseases. He said the declining quality of health care was the root cause of the initiation of the IPP. Nkwan said, since 2002, the Programme has made giant strides in infection prevention activities.

He said awareness creation seminars and workshops were organized; first, among IPP staff and, then, extension with intensification taking place in 2005. He said some common practices both at home and in health institutions can go a long way to help prevent some diseases and cited, inter alia, the thorough washing of hands, the introduction of disposable syringes and the use of gloves as simple methods of diseases prevention.

The IPP supervisor said, due to the importance of the programme, the CBC Health Board adopted May 17 as IP Day in the CBC Health Services. The representative of the CBC Director of Health Services, Dr Tom Welty, said the programme has had a great impact on HIV prevention and other STIs. He, however, raised worries about rape and called on the authorities to reflect on the treatment of rapists as a means of prevention.

Dr. Welty said the identification of HIV-positive persons, was important as it helps reduce the HIV infection and expansion. He said, even treatment, in itself, is preventive as HIV patients who go for treatment usually have their viral load reduced thereby reducing the risk of further infection.

He regretted that no vaccine has yet been found for HIV, insisting that prevention is found only in behaviour change. According to the BBH Administrator, IPP was qualified to be given a silver medal after 10 years of success. He maintained that prevention is better than cure, adding that cure is more expensive than prevention. In an earlier devotion, Rev. Moses Tanni lauded the success of the programme, attributing same to hard work.

He said the success of the Health Board was attracting international attention, thereby causing the CBCHS to extend its tentacles and explore new avenues. This was justified by the presence of two Canadian partners; Dana Anderson and Sally Macinnis, who both promised to supply resources and exchange ideas on prevention practices in Canada.

In a press briefing, Dr. Welty said: “Our goal is usually to do no harm when patients do come. So we want to do all to prevent infection”. He hoped that the CBCHS staff will do all to ensure the reduction of the risks of infection.” Panel discussions were held on: “Role of the Nurse in Infection Prevention”; “Role of Pharmacy in Infection Prevention”; “Role of the Lab in Infection Prevention and Antibiotic Resistance”.

The panelists, who included Nkwan, Dr. Gerald Frunjang, Samuel Tancho, Edward Ngah, Dana Anderson and Sally Macinnis, decried the existence of street drug vendors, regretting Government’s apparent nonchalance. They insisted on proper hand washing and not hand wetting. It was observed that the programme still faced by a plethora of difficulties, among them, the lack of resources, behiavour change, lack of training facilities and absence of local/national IP associations.

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