The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has launched a project called ‘Turn Nigeria Orange’ to strengthen the culture of hand hygiene and Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) generally in healthcare institutions across the country.
The Director-General, NCDC, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu who announced this in a statement on Saturday said the project which was launched at the University of Abuja at the weekend is also part of activities to commemorate the 2019 World Hand Hygiene Day in Nigeria.
Ihekweazu noted that every year on the 5th of May, the World Health Organisation (WHO) with the collaboration of countries and healthcare facilities all around the world, runs an annual campaign to promote hand hygiene with the slogan “Save Lives: Clean your Hands”.
He said the global movement to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC) aims to do so through achieving better health and well-being for all people at all ages. including access to quality essential health care services and access to safe, effective, high-quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all.
“IPC, including hand hygiene, is critical to achieve UHC, as it is a practical and evidence-based approach with a big impact on quality of care and patient safety across all levels of the health system.” he said.
Photo highlights of ‘Turn Nigeria Orange’ launch
Ihekweazu further noted that the NCDC recently developed a five-year strategic plan to eradicate Lassa fever in Nigeria, adding that the core component of this strategic plan is to achieve a strong IPC culture across healthcare institutions in Nigeria.
He said, “The ‘Turn Nigeria Orange’ project is a key activity to achieve this. Leveraging the ‘Turn Nigeria Orange’ project, NCDC will conduct a survey on IPC and Hand hygiene in healthcare institutions across Nigeria and use findings to strengthen the capacity of these healthcare institutions using the WHO Core components.
Ihekweazu stressed the importance of the campaign and calls on health facilities to prevent HCAIs through hand hygiene and action on infection prevention and control.
He also said, “Healthcare associated infections are preventable. NCDC is committed to working with States and healthcare institutions across Nigeria to ensure facilities are equipped and empowered to safeguard all healthcare workers”.
He further recalled that in 2018 the NCDC facilitated a Training of Trainers for 28 healthcare workers from seven private and seven public facilities as IPC change agents.
Ihekweazu said the NCDC earlier in 2019, the NCDC in collaboration with Robert Koch Institute (RKI), Germany’s national public health institute, RKI, commenced the ‘NCDC Capacity Development for Preparedness and Response for Infectious Diseases’ (NiCaDe) project to strengthen capacity for IPC in secondary and tertiary health facilities across the country.
Launching the ‘Turn Nigeria Orange’ project today at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Senator Dr. Lanre A. Tejuoso, Chairman Senate Committee on Health, stated that the Federal Government is concerned at the recent spate of healthcare associated infections:
“No healthcare worker in Nigeria should risk his or her life in the discharge of duties in saving the lives of Nigerians. We will work together to strengthen capacity of our healthcare institutions to keep our healthcare workers safe as they work to protect the lives of Nigerians, ” he assured.