Infection Prevention and Control in Health Facilities in Post-Ebola Liberia: Don't Forget the Private Sector!
Van den Bergh, R
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JournalPublic Health Action
AbstractSetting: Recognising the importance of infection prevention and control (IPC), a minimum standards tool (MST) was developed in Liberia to guide the safe (re-) opening and provision of care in health facilities. Objectives: To analyse the implementation of specific IPC measures after the 2014 Ebola virus outbreak between June 2015 and May 2016, and to compare the relative improvements in IPC between the public and private sectors. Design: A retrospective comparative cohort study. Results: We evaluated 723 (94%) of the 769 health facilities in Liberia. Of these, 437 (60%) were public and 286 (40%) were private. There was an overall improvement in the MST scores from a median of 13 to 14 out of a maximum possible score of 16. While improvements were observed in all aspects of IPC in both public and private health facilities, IPC implementation was systematically higher in public facilities. Conclusions: We demonstrate the feasibility of monitoring IPC implementation using the MST checklist in post-Ebola Liberia. Our study shows that improvements were made in key aspects of IPC after 1 year of evaluations and tailored recommendations. We also highlight the need to increase the focus on the private sector to achieve further improvements in IPC.