Infection Prevention & Control

Who is impacted by Hospital Acquired Infections (HAIs)?


Founded in 2019 by three United States healthcare professionals and industry executives, HEAL First International is committed to aid in healing communities within Africa and work in collaboration with public and private sector partners to exponentially foster economic factors within the continent, moving Africa toward taking its place as a leading economy internationally.

Healthcare in Africa overall continues to fall behind the ever growing developments and advances being established as best practice within the international community. The more quickly leaders within Africa are able to leverage available resources and adapt to these developing best practices the more quickly increased quality care can be provided to the general population. One opportunity in which HEAL First International is prepared to assist is the growing numbers of inpatient nosocomial infections within public institutions.

Understanding infection control and prevention in Sub-Saharan Africa is critical to establishing a baseline of performance. Ultimately the goal of HEAL First International is to work with Ministries of Public Health and leaders within hospitals to shift metrics toward international performance. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) in their 2011 publication titled Health-care-associated infection in Africa: a systematic review, the WHO focused on four key quality metrics utilized as indicators of nosocomial infection. These quality metrics are identified below as Hospital Acquired Infections (HAIs), Surgical Site Infections (SSIs), Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) and Hospital Acquired Pneumonia.

  • HAI prevalence ranged between 2.5% and 14.8% (It is important to note that in some studies the rate of HAI in inpatients were as high as 45%)
  • SSI prevalence ranged between 2.5% and 30.9%. This meant that nearly 1 in 3 patients who had surgery in Sub-Saharan Africa received some type of Hospital Acquired Infection (HAI). It was also observed that those patients who received a Hospital Acquired Infection (HAI) post-surgery had an increased length of stay (LOS) of +7.6 days (average LOS 5.4 days – with SSI 13 days). These patients would also experience a +5.7% increase in mortality (average observed mortality of 4.9% increased to 10.8% after acquiring an SSI). This would equate to nearly 1 in 10 Surgical Site Infections (SSI) would result in a mortality
  • UTI prevalence ranged between 0.7% and 4.5% in inpatients with urinary catheterization
  • Hospital Acquired Pneumonia prevalence ranged between 1.7% and 2.9%. This rate dramatically increased with patients that were ventilated within the ICU. It was observed that Hospital Acquired Pneumonia rose in this patient population to 50% among adult patients.