Lessons on hygiene at birth in healthcare facilities
With over three-quarters of deliveries worldwide now occurring in health institutions, the quality of care received by women and newborns in LMICs affects the balance between benefit versus unintended harm from institutional birth. A core component of quality care is hygienic practises and environment, with healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) a clear marker of substandard infection prevention and control (IPC). The evidence-base for this goes back over two centuries, and yet HAIs are on the increase globally, as is antibiotic resistance. The urgent need to strengthen water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) as a foundation stone of patient safety is acknowledged in the 2019 World Health Assembly Resolution (72/27), and the call to action emphasises the role of evidence in informing and monitoring progress.
The Soapbox Collaborative was established in March 2012 as an evidence-based charitable trust with the mission of improving hygiene at birth in healthcare facilities in LMICs, conducting both research and implementation in conjunction with partners. Seven years on, the key lessons learnt will be brought together and shared during a seminar at LSHTM hosted by MARCH. The location for this event is fitting – the School is both one of the host institutions for Soapbox and the historic “home” of evidence on hygiene.
The seminar will provide the chance to hear the lessons learnt from the Soapbox team, presented in the style of PechaKucha talks. There will then be a panel discussion with invited experts who have worked with Soapbox or in related areas. A Q&A session will follow to enable the audience (live and online) to pose questions to all presenters and panellists. A final short presentation will summarise the unfinished agenda around hygiene at birth, and there will then be an informal networking reception in the School’s atrium.
The seminar will be led by Professor Wendy Graham, with short presentations from colleagues from The Soapbox Collaborative followed by a panel discussion with invited experts. Wendy Graham is Professor of Obstetrics and Epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, & Emeritus Professor at the University of Aberdeen. She specializes in the quality improvement of maternity services and in healthcare-associated infections in mothers and newborns in low-income countries. Professor Graham has worked collaboratively with governments and research institutes in over 25 countries across nearly three decades. She is one of the co-founders of The Soapbox Collaborative and the charity’s Chief Scientific Adviser, and also serves on expert panels for several international organizations, including WHO, DFID, MRC and the Wellcome Trust.
This session will be live-streamed/recorded - accessible to internal and external audience.