Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública
On-line version ISSN 1680-5348
Print version ISSN 1020-4989
LAVOIE, Marie-Claude and HEALTHY HOSPITAL PROJECT TEAM et al. International collaboration to protect health workers from infectious diseases in Ecuador. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2010, vol.27, n.5, pp.396-402. ISSN 1680-5348. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1020-49892010000500010.
The Healthy Hospital Project, an international collaboration, aimed to strengthen Ecuador's capacity to promote healthier and safer hospitals by reducing occupational transmission of infectious diseases. Team members conducted a needs assessment to identify workplace hazards and health risks in three hospitals. A survey of health care workers' knowledge and practices of occupational health (OH) and infection control (IC) revealed positive practices such as a medical waste disposal program and widespread dissemination of health information. Challenges identified included a high frequency of recapping needles and limited resources for workers to apply consistent IC measures. The survey revealed underreporting of needlestick injuries and limited OH and safety (OHS) training. Therefore, project collaborators organized a training workshop for health care workers that aimed to overcome the identified obstacles by integrating interdisciplinary local, national, and international stakeholders to build capacity and institutionalize work-related infection prevention and control measures. The knowledge transferred and experience gained led to useful hospital-based projects and serves as a basis for implementation of other OHS projects nationwide. International interdisciplinary, interinstitutional collaboration in OHS and IC can build capacity to address OHS concerns in health care.
Keywords : infection control; occupational health services; delivery of health care; hospitals; Ecuador.