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Hand hygiene, industry-education and rigorous infection prevention implementation key to reducing HAIs in poorer countries

Simple prevention methods could help to reduce the number of health care associated infections in poorer countries, it has been advised.

High numbers of hospital related infections are going unnoticed in developing countries that are better known to harbour infections such as TB and malaria resulting in poor conditions within the health care sector.

In a review of 220 previous studies the team, led by the World Health Organisation, found infection rates in poorer countries were over double that in Europe and triple in the US.

Simple precautions such as better hand hygiene, improvements in staff education and a more rigorous implementation of infection prevention would significantly drop the infection rate from 15.5 per 100 patients in developing countries.

Speaking to the BBC, Dr Victor Rosenthal of the International Nosocomial Infection Control Consortium said: "Health care associated infections in developing countries are a serious issue that is scarcely addressed in the scientific literature".

The study, which was also overseen by former chief medical officer for England, Professor Sir Liam Donaldson, reviewed data dating back to 1995 focusing on a wide range of healthcare associated bugs such as bloodstream and surgical site infections.

Researchers also found a greater number of intensive care infections of 47.9 per 1,000 patient-days in developing countries compared to 13.6 in the US.

Dr Rosenthal has urged for greater steps to be taken to tackle the problem predicting that it was likely that such infection prevention problems were likely to be causing both financial strain and longer hospital stays.

Read more on this story by clicking the links below:

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