Infection Prevention and Antimicrobial Resistance
At the dawn of the antibiotic era, resistant pathogens were rare. Antimicrobial use permitted resistant organisms to thrive within treated patients, but it is the movement of resistant microbes between individuals, communities, and nations that has led to a world where all are at risk of an untreatable infection.
Thus any comprehensive strategy to address the threat of antimicrobial resistance must aim to decrease the transmission of resistant organisms – in homes, communities, healthcare settings, food chains, water supplies, and international trade routes. The key element is improved hygiene.
For patients seeking medical care, healthcare providers have a particular responsibility to avoid patients acquiring infections as the result of medical decisions and interventions. Healthcare-associated infections are one of the primary causes of death and suffering in hospitalized patients throughout the world, so infection prevention is rightly considered to be a cornerstone of patient safety.
- Infection Prevention Homepage
- WHO Patient Safety Homepage
- WHO Global Patient Safety Challenge - Tracking antimicrobial resistance
- World Alliance for Patient Safety
- WHO Documents for Infection Control in Health Care
- WHO Guidelines on Hand Hygiene in Health Care (4.36M) (2009)
- Core Components for Infection Prevention and Control Programmes. Report of the Second Meeting of the Informal Network on Infection Prevention and Control in Health Care, Geneva, 26–27 June 2008 (196K) (2009)