by Benedetta Allegranzi, Claire Kilpatrick, Julie Storr et al.
on behalf of the Global Infection Prevention and Control Network
The Lancet Global Health, Vol. 5, No. 12, e1178–e1180, December 2017
The Ebola virus disease outbreak in west Africa and the rapid spread of other emerging viruses, such as the severe acute respiratory syndrome or the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronaviruses, showed how limited or non-existent infection prevention and control (IPC) programmes, combined with an inadequate water supply, poor sanitation, and a weak hygiene infrastructure in health facilities, can threaten global health security. In such outbreaks, instead of serving as points where disease was controlled, health-care facilities became dangerous places for outbreak amplification among staff and patients and transmission back to communities. It is now urgent to consider IPC capacity building and actual implementation as global health priorities. This would create a unique opportunity to make IPC a strong contributor to the achievement of the health-related UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, including quality universal health coverage.