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Pillar 6

Infection prevention and control, and protection of the health workforce

Social distancing, wearing of masks, hand hygiene and indoor ventilation are among the most effective
ways we can combat the spread of COVID-19 in public settings and healthcare facilities. Healthcare workers and patients have the right to care in a secure environment. WHOF is prioritizing projects and programmes which focus on strengthening infection prevention
and control in healthcare facilities, protecting patients and health workers.

The success of infection and prevention measures (IPC), in health facilities and communities, is dependent on a consistent approach to guidelines, training, implementation, monitoring and adequate patient to health worker ratio, as well as access to supplies and personal protective equipment and safely managed water, sanitation, and hygiene.

Comprehensive preparedness and emergency response systems to protect populations do not receive adequate investment in many countries. Such a lack of preparedness can be very costly. Scaling up these measures can be a game changer for this epidemic and the next. The rise of variants may enable the virus to spread more easily, or reduce the effectiveness of vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics. Infection prevention and control will always be a critical lever for action in responding to thise pandemic and the next, as they aim at suppressing transmission and reducing exposure.

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