Rapid Infection Prevention and Control Assessment for COVID-19 in Kenyan Healthcare Facilities
The global spread of COVID-19 has resulted in an unprecedented need for infection prevention and control (IPC) in healthcare facilities. Without adequate IPC measures, COVID-19 can spread rapidly in healthcare facilities among healthcare workers and patients, putting them at risk and interrupting essential healthcare services, such as immunization, maternal care, and emergency services.
To help slow the spread of COVID-19, CDC, the University of Washington International Training and Education Center for Health (UW I-TECH), and the Kenya Ministry of Health (MOH) partnered together in two consecutive, rapid IPC capacity national assessments of healthcare facilities. The team used a CDC assessment tool developed to identify and safely manage patients with symptoms of COVID-19 in non-US settings and adapted it for facilities in Kenya. This tool helps staff understand how well a healthcare facility is implementing IPC measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 to healthcare workers and patients. It assesses IPC areas that include reporting and communication, training, supplies, triage and screening, and monitoring of healthcare workers and patients.
UW I-TECH converted the tool to an Android app to speed data collection and trained county MOH teams on how to use it. Data were collected from 777 and 803 Kenyan health facilities in 2020 and 2021, respectively. Using these data, the MOH developed national priorities for IPC improvements. Individual healthcare facilities have also been able to assess progress and develop workplans using continuous quality improvement to close identified gaps in IPC, such as ensuring adequate supplies of personal protective equipment and improving isolation practices.
Although the Kenya MOH began this nationwide IPC assessment in response to COVID-19, it plans to continue routine assessments in the future to help prevent many kinds of healthcare-associated infections beyond COVID-19. CDC will maintain its support and partnership with the MOH as, together, they seek to make IPC assessment a regular part of efforts to protect healthcare workers and patients.