APPS Update November 2011

Focussed on Patient Safety the APPS project forms a significant part of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) response to increasing political commitment and momentum for action on Patient Safety across Africa.

Three African Links including Leicester were chosen to start this work, the two others being Uganda and Malawi with twelve key actions given to each of us for the African partner to select their priorities.

The APPS project has been running for around 18 months now, following a plan created by Dr Gashaw in Gondar and Sandra Kemp in Leicester for UHL.

Gondar selected their priorities as:

  • Minimise health care associated infections with a particular focus on hand hygiene
  • Safe surgical care with a focus on the WHO safe surgery checklist
  • Waste management
  • Health worker protection

The Hand Hygiene project commenced in March 2010 initially conducting a review of current practices.  This led to Hand Hygiene training and the introduction of an alcohol-based  hand rub.  It was initially thought that Gondar would make their own hand rub, but this was actually sourced in Addis.  We were very fortunate to gain support from the Ministry of Health who also decided that three other Ethiopian hospitals would follow Gondar’s lead. Many staff training and awareness took place with Sister Nura, the Director of Nursing, taking the lead supported by Sandra Kemp.  The hand rub was launched in Gondar in September 2010 with excitement, celebration and media interest.

handrub launch.jpg

Since the launch there has been slow progress on the uptake of the use of the hand rub, due in part to unsuitable bottles.  Alternative bottles are being sourced and there is a further visit to Gondar planned for later this year. Clinical audits are taking place regularly and update training is also planned.

The Safe Surgery project began last year with a visit to Gondar by Dr Tim Bourne and Jane Aires from the UHL where they introduced to the Operating theatres the WHO safe surgery checklist.  Changes were made to the checklist to make it more relevant to Gondar and this began to be used in November 2010.  Audits are planned shortly to check compliance levels.

There were two very successful visits to UHL by Gondar staff working on the APPS project last year.  Unfortunately due to a Business Process review in Gondar there have been many changes of staff.  Fortunately Dr Gashaw remains the lead in Gondar on the project ensuring continuity.

This coming year, there are two new actions due to start, with the first visit planned for the end of September.  Staff going to Gondar will be Dr Margaret Leverment—from Occupational Health, who is going to be working with Dr Kiros and is hoping to start an Occupational Health Service for staff and Emmilie Aveling—from the University of Leicester, who will be working with a Gondar colleague on a research project.  Sandra Kemp—Project lead and Hand Hygiene trainer will also be joining the group.

There is to be a return visit of Gondar staff working on some of these projects to UHL in November 2011.

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