The importance of preventing infection and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in health care is being recognised increasingly in many national and global health efforts. Over the years, the central role infection prevention and control (IPC) has been reflected in the emerging priorities of the World Health Organization’s Member States, and their partners. IPC action is acknowledged as playing a prominent role in curbing emerging and ongoing threats in health-related activities ranging from water, sanitation and hygiene and health worker and patient safety to preventing specific conditions, such as AMR and sepsis. It is critical to the provision of high-quality and safe health care, and lies at the core of health emergency preparedness and response. As such, IPC has played a decisive role during the COVID-19 pandemic, and its correct application continues to save lives everywhere around the globe.
This global report on IPC is the first of its kind. It provides a global situation analysis of how IPC programmes are being implemented in countries around the world and highlights the harm to patients and health workers caused by health care-associated infections (HAIs) and AMR. The report also addresses the impact and cost-effectiveness of IPC and it indicates approaches, resources and strategic directions to support countries in their efforts to improve IPC programmes and practices, as a high priority for the health agenda and in connection with other areas of work.