The first ever Global guidelines for the prevention of surgical site infection were launched by WHO’s Infection Prevention and Control team on 3 November 2016. They include 29 concrete recommendations distilled down by 20 of the world’s leading experts from reviews of the latest evidence. The guidelines are designed to address the increasing burden of health care-associated infections emanating from surgery, both on patients and health care systems globally.
Putting the needs of people at the centre of health services
It has been estimated that 400 million people do not have access to essential health services today, and where care is accessible, it is too often fragmented or of poor quality. WHO has developed the Framework on integrated people-centred health services, which aims to transform health systems so that they are integrated and coordinated towards the needs of people, treating each individual as a whole person, with often complex and multiple needs. This is critical to ensuring that health systems and services are able to meet today’s changing health needs, such as the growing burden of chronic and infectious disease.
Quality of essential health services is a critical and relatively unexplored dimension within rapidly evolving UHC driven health systems. Indeed, the field of quality improvement – focused on systematic change methods and strategies – has a unique role in improving equity and effectiveness of health systems seeking to achieve UHC. There is an urgent need to place quality of care at the centre of global, regional and country level action in order to progress towards effective UHC.
Worldwide, an estimated 350 million diagnostic medical examinations are performed on children. Using radiation in medical imaging can save lives, but inappropriate use may lead to unnecessary and unintended radiation doses. Because children are smaller and have a longer lifespan than adults their risk of developing radiation-induced effects is greater. In response, WHO have released a communication tool entitled “Communicating radiation risks in paediatric imaging”. The tool provides medical practitioners with information, skills and resources they need to communicate clearly and effectively about the benefits and risks of imaging procedures to paediatric patients and their families.
Service Delivery and Safety (SDS)
WHO SDS supports countries in moving their health systems towards universal health coverage, through increased access to safe, high quality, effective, people-centred and integrated services.
New resources and tools
- Guidelines on core components of infection prevention and control programmes at the national and acute health care facility level
- Global guidelines on the prevention of surgical site infection
- Twinning partnerships for improvement: Recovery partnership preparation package
- Recovery toolkit: Supporting countries to achieve health service resilience
- WHO Safe Childbirth Checklist