0n 28th March 2022, an MRC UKRI-funded project at the Medical Research Council Unit The Gambia at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (MRCG at LSHTM) handed over a donation of cleaning materials and products worth over £1000 the maternity and neonatal wards of the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital (EFSTH).
The study, led by Dr. Uduak Okomo, aimed to assess the impact of a contextually appropriate cleaning training package intervention for hospital cleaners and nurses on the adequacy of routine surface and equipment cleaning at the EFSTH neonatal unit and was carried out in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, EFSTH, and Horizons Trust Gambia.
According to Dr Okomo, “Infection is a leading cause of maternal and newborn mortality globally; however, in sub-Saharan Africa, exposure to unhygienic practices and environments further poses a substantial risk of hospital-acquired infections to mothers and newborns. Cleaning in hospitals is highly variable/inconsistent due to several factors including heavy bioburden, poor cleaning methods, misuse of disinfectants, and missing high-touch surfaces. One of the challenges of maintaining a hygienic environment is the availability of cleaning materials and products. This donation is to support the Hospital’s efforts to ensure that the neonatal unit and labour ward remain clean and hygienic for patient care, as well as show our appreciation to the hospital administration for allowing us to use the hospital for this study.”
Jalimory Njie, the Public Relations Officer at the EFSTH, expressed his gratitude saying, “This donation will go a long way in helping us to maintain a very hygienic space, especially for the neonates admitted in the hospital. Conducive and hygienic wards are very important to us and help us take care of our patients. The administration is very grateful to the MRCG at LSHTM for this significant contribution”.
“The MRCG at LSHTM has been conducting a series of studies at the EFSTH and we will continue to support and collaborate with them. The research they conduct is very important because it provides the Ministry of Health with accurate data and supports the health care delivery system in the country,” he added.
Sainabou Willan is a Senior Nursing Officer and Midwife in the Maternity Unit at the EFSTH. She spoke about the significance of the donation. “Microorganisms are the root cause of infections in the hospital and these cleaning materials and products will help us to prevent and control these infections. This is a wonderful gesture, and we will utilise them greatly to ensure our wards are clean and up to standard”, she said.
Aji Fatou Camara Jammeh, a Matron in the Paediatrics ward at the EFSTH shared similar sentiments saying, “This donation will also help us prevent hospital-acquired infection and break the chain of transmission of infections.”
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