Current major concerns on outbreaks of resistant organisms are driven by multiple features of globalisation. The quest for livelihoods and trade, as well as regional conflicts and endemic poverty has seen the volume and speed of human and animal population movement as well as the flow of organic materials within and across national and continental borders increase significantly, enabled exponentially by technological advances. At the same time legal and policy parameters and probably more importantly, actual practices, have lagged behind these changes, increasing individual and population exposure to the risks of infectious diseases. Education and controls in health care sites are a critical component of efforts to contain and prevent infection outbreaks.
The 2009 WHO HIV/TB National Review identified various challenges and weaknesses with respect to Infection Control practices in South African public facilities. Whilst there appeared to be a general awareness of the principals embedded in the international and national TB infection control guidelines amongst most people responsible for IC in the provinces, it found a general lack of insight into principles of TB IC at all levels. Particularly, basic administrative controls were not implemented effectively at most district health facilities
The conclusions pointed to the need for on going education programmes to train all levels of staff. The outcomes report recommended that TB infection control be incorporated into the general infection control programmes of all facilities. As a priority, the healthcare sector at all levels of service delivery should implement infection control training programmes and initiatives for healthcare and allied workers, infrastructure and maintenance staff as well as laboratory compliance to bio-safety.
The Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Pretoria propose to develop an education, training and best practice implementation programme that aims at intervention in and prevention of infection. All aspects of the programme will be informed by appropriate research and development programmes.