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This study was focused on reviewing the emergency and disaster preparedness of European hospital pharmacists.
An online survey based on International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) guidelines for natural disasters was sent to European hospital pharmacies, with the support of the European Association of Hospital Pharmacists. Additional questions were added about the characteristics of respondents, as well as preparedness and experience of manmade disasters. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the results.
Hospital pharmacists in France (20%) and Spain (19%) returned most of the 306 questionnaires completed in 27 countries. Half of the respondents had analyzed their regional disaster risk, but 65% had never practiced emergency drills. Fifteen percent of respondents had experienced at least 1 major emergency or disaster event in the last 5 years. Fifty-six percent of those respondents who experienced a disaster subsequently created and promoted internal standard operating procedures (SOPs) for future emergencies, versus 23% for those who had not experienced disasters. Among pharmacists having experienced disasters, 40% organized a post-disaster debriefing to improve their future response.
Results highlighted that most European hospital pharmacists were not fully compliant with FIP guidelines. However, respondents who had experienced disasters were more likely to create and promote SOPs for future disasters. Further worldwide analysis and benchmarking are necessary, and FIP guidelines should be more strongly promoted.
During the 2014-2015 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the lack of infection prevention and control (IPC) measures in health care facilities amplified human-to-human transmission and contributed to the magnitude of this humanitarian disaster.
In the summer of 2014, the Geneva University Hospitals (HUG; Geneva, Switzerland) conducted an IPC assessment and developed a project based on the local needs and their expertise with the support of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and the Humanitarian Aid Unit (SDC/HA; Bern, Switzerland). The project consisted of building local capacity in the production of alcohol-based hand-rub solution (ABHRS) based on the World Health Organization (WHO; Geneva, Switzerland) formula in non-Ebola health facilities at the peak of the outbreak in Liberia (Fall 2014) and during recovery in Guinea (September 2015) to promote safer care. Twenty-one pharmacists in Liberia and 22 in Guinea were trained and one years’ worth of laboratory equipment, chemical products, containers for personal use, and bioethanol were delivered to 10 hospitals per country with more than 8,000 100 ml bottles of solution produced at the end of the project.
Hand hygiene using hand-rub solution is a critical component of safer care, especially in health care settings lacking runnable water. Throughout the Ebola outbreak, it was a timely moment to promote hand-rub solution and to reinforce IPC measures in non-Ebola health facilities. During the project implementation, a substantial challenge was the unavailability of bioethanol in Liberia and Guinea. In the long run, sustainability of the production can become an issue as it depends heavily on the local government’s financial and political commitment, the capacity to create an on-going demand for hand-rub solution in health facilities, the local purchase and replacement of the materials and chemical products, as well as the availability of continuous local partners’ support.
The project demonstrated that it was feasible to build local capacity in ABHRS production during an emergency and in limited-resource settings when materials and training are provided. Future programs in similar contexts should identify and address the factors of sustainability during the implementation phase and provide regular, long-term technical support.
Jacquerioz BauschFA, HellerO, BengalyL, Matthey-KhouityB, BonnabryP, TouréY, KervillainGJ, BahEI, ChappuisF, HagonO. Building Local Capacity in Hand-Rub Solution Production during the 2014-2016 Ebola Outbreak Disaster: The Case of Liberia and Guinea.. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2018;33(6):660–667.
To assess the feasibility and effectiveness of the World Health Organization hand hygiene improvement strategy in a low-income African country.
A before-and-after study from December 2006 through June 2008, with a 6-month baseline evaluation period and a follow-up period of 8 months from the beginning of the intervention.
University Hospital, Bamako, Mali.
TWO hundred twenty-four healthcare workers.
The intervention consisted of introducing a locally produced, alcohol-based handrub; monitoring hand hygiene compliance; providing performance feedback; educating staff; posting reminders in the workplace; and promoting an institutional safety climate according to the World Health Organization multimodal hand hygiene improvement strategy. Hand hygiene infrastructure, compliance, healthcare workers' knowledge and perceptions, and handrub consumption were evaluated at baseline and at follow-up.
Severe deficiencies in the infrastructure for hand hygiene were identified before the intervention. Local handrub production and quality control proved to be feasible, affordable, and satisfactory. At follow-up, handrubbing was the quasi-exclusive hand hygiene technique (93.3%). Compliance increased from 8.0% at baseline to 21.8% at follow-up (P < .001). Improvement was observed across all professional categories and medical specialities and was independently associated with the intervention (odds ratio, 2.50; 95% confidence interval, 1.8-3.5). Knowledge enhanced significantly (P < .05), and perception surveys showed a high appreciation of each strategy component by staff.
Multimodal hand hygiene promotion is feasible and effective in a low-income country. Access to handrub was critical for its success. These findings motivated the government of Mali to expand the intervention nationwide. This experience represents a significant advancement for patient safety in developing countries.
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