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Nagaland

States asked to review preparedness on ‘black fungus’

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By Livine Khrozhoh Updated: May 21, 2021 10:40 pm
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Our Reporter
Dimapur, May 21 (EMN): In the recent days, as some states and UTs have reported an increasing number of patients suffering from Mucormycosis, popularly known as Black Fungus, causing a concern, the Union Ministry of Health wrote to states and UTs advising them to review their preparedness for infection prevention and control as well as hygiene and sanitation in hospitals.

According to a PIB report, the Union Health Secretary in his letter to chief secretaries and administrators of all states and UTs has urged them to undertake various activities and practices to ensure that there are robust infection prevention and control practices in Covid hospitals and other healthcare facilities.

They are asked to establish or activate the hospital infection control committee with the head of the institution or an administrator as the chairperson;  designate an infection prevention and control nodal officer – preferably a microbiologist or senior infection control nurse; Prepare and implement the infection prevention control (IPC) programme in the hospital/ health facilities, as per the guidance given in national guidelines for infection and control in healthcare facilities.

States and UTs are also asked to emphasise and strengthen procedures and practices for IPC. In the context of Covid-19; standard precautions are to be applied all across the hospital/ health facility and transmission-based precautions need heightened focus on droplet, airborne and contact precautions from the perspective of protecting healthcare workers and ensuring patient safety.

It stated that infection prevention and control practices needs to be enhanced in intensive care units (ICUs) using a bundle-approach to prevent device associated infections such as ventilator associated pneumonia or catheter-associated blood stream, urinary infections etc. Infection prevention and control practise in the clinical laboratories and those attached to hospitals are very crucial for the safety of laboratory/hospital staff and health security of the community, the report stated.

It also urged to establish surveillance of healthcare associated infections with focus on ventilator associated pneumonia, catheter-associated blood stream infection, catheter-associated urinary tract infection, surgical site infections, gastro-intestinal outbreaks. Further, guidance could be taken from AIIMS HAI network.

It has asked to train all hospital staff to develop their skills in IPC, irrespective of their individual routine duties, in implementing procedures and protocols described in the hospital infection control manual. It added that a state nodal officer needs to be identified to monitor the implementation of infection prevention and control to provide evaluation and feedback of the IPC programme in the state.

The report also stated that the states and UTs have been assured that the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare would provide all necessary assistance to implement the national guidelines for infection prevention and control in healthcare facilities.

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By Livine Khrozhoh Updated: May 21, 2021 10:40:13 pm