Healthcare associated infection a global growing challenge
According to WHO* health care-associated infections, or infections acquired in health-care settings are the most frequent adverse event in health-care delivery worldwide. Each year, hundreds of millions of patients worldwide are affected by healthcare-associated infections, leading to significant mortality and financial losses for the healthcare systems.Of every 100 hospitalized patients at any given time, 7 (in developed countries) and 10 (in developing countries) will acquire at least one healthcare-associated infection.
Health care-associated infections, or “nosocomial” and “hospital” infections, affect patients in a hospital or other health-care facility, and are not present or incubating at the time of admission. They also include infections acquired by patients in the hospital or facility which only appear after discharge, as well as occupational infections among staff.
Most countries lack surveillance systems for health care-associated infections. Those that do have systems often struggle with the complexity and lack of standardized criteria for diagnosing the infections. While this makes it difficult to gather reliable global information on health care-associated infections, results from studies clearly indicate that each year, hundreds of millions of patients are affected by health care-associated infections around the world.
Health care-associated infections only usually receive public attention when there are epidemics. Although often hidden from public attention, the very real endemic, ongoing problem is one that no institution or country can claim to have solved, despite many efforts.
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