By Charles Wanga
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania—The Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) Program, a Jhpiego initiative funded by the U.S Agency for International Development (USAID) under the Mothers and Infants, Safe, Healthy and Alive (MAISHA) Program, has handed over infection prevention equipment and supplies worth $13,000 to Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH) in an ongoing effort to improve and strengthen health care services for women and families.
The items delivered by Natalie Hendler, Jhpiego’s Infection Prevention and Control Director, included 73 color-coded waste separation bins, 600 utility gloves for handling contaminated instruments, 250 pairs of boots, and 100 alcohol-based handrub dispensers.
Dr. Marina Njelekela, Muhimbili National Hospital Executive Director, said the donation “couldn’t come at a better time” because the hospital is currently reviewing its infection and prevention control plan.
“We are grateful to Jhpiego and USAID for this donation, which will be very useful in improving IPC at Muhimbili. Soon we will be establishing a Quality Improvement Department at the hospital with the sole aim of improving IPC,” said Dr. Njelekela.
Ms. Hendler, of Jhpiego’s Tanzania office, praised the collaboration the program enjoys with Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and Muhimbili National Hospital, and its management’s commitment to improving infection prevention and control at the largest health facility in Tanzania. “Muhimbili has made remarkable progress on IPC quality improvement standards over a short time— from just 10% at baseline to current 66%,” said Ms. Hendler. “Although this donation is like a small bandage on a big wound, I believe it is an important step in addressing the IPC supplies and equipment gap at the National Hospital.”
The handing over of IPC supplies and equipment coincided with a three-day training—led by Jhpiego—on infection prevention and control where 30 heads of departments and block managers at MNH reviewed IPC gaps, challenges and charted out strategies for improvement.
With funding from PEPFAR through USAID and CDC, Jhpiego is building the capacity of the MOHSW to address infection prevention and control in hospitals across Tanzania. Using a whole-site quality improvement approach, Jhpiego and the MOHSW work with teams in each hospital to address infection control and develop targeted interventions for provider and patient safety, health care waste management, injection safety and the provision of post-exposure prophylaxis for HIV/AIDS.