Infection control recommendations for radiology departments in Malawi
Background: Guidelines for radiographers contain recommendations related to standard infection control precautions for healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) which are a major cause of mortality and morbidity in hospital settings. However, the implementation of these recommendations has proven to be a challenge in the Malawian radiology departments, as there are no national guidelines or radiology policies for infection control.
Aim: This article outlines the development of infection control recommendations that could facilitate sound knowledge and practices of radiographers regarding infection control.
Setting: Radiology departments in hospitals in Malawi.
Methods: The recommendations were developed based on data from a questionnaire that measured the knowledge and practices of 62 radiographers regarding infection control as well as data from the literature. The Florence Nightingale environmental theory was used as the
conceptual framework for the recommendations, while its development was based on steps of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. For the format of the draft recommendations, an adapted version of the Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Evaluation II tool was used.
Results: Issues identified from the responses to the questionnaire and literature resulted in seven sets of recommendations: hand hygiene, personal hygiene, personal protective gear and the use of appropriate equipment, safe handling of sharps and sharp containers, decontamination and cleaning, housekeeping and routine infection control practices.
Conclusions: The recommendations can be further reviewed and implemented to improve the implementation of infection control and to reduce HAIs in resource-constrained settings.
Keywords: healthcare-associated infections; infection control; radiographer; recommendations; Malawi.
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