Core components for effective infection prevention and control programmes: New WHO evidence-based recommendations

Julie Storr, Anthony Twyman, Walter Zingg, Nizam Damani, Claire Kilpatrick, Jacqui Reilly, Lesley Price, Matthias M Egger, Michael Lindsay Grayson, Edward Kelley, Benedetta Allegranzi, WHO Guidelines Development Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleOtherpeer-review

118 Citations (Scopus)


Health care-associated infections (HAI) are a major public health problem with a significant impact on morbidity, mortality and quality of life. They represent also an important economic burden to health systems worldwide. However, a large proportion of HAI are preventable through effective infection prevention and control (IPC) measures. Improvements in IPC at the national and facility level are critical for the successful containment of antimicrobial resistance and the prevention of HAI, including outbreaks of highly transmissible diseases through high quality care within the context of universal health coverage. Given the limited availability of IPC evidence-based guidance and standards, the World Health Organization (WHO) decided to prioritize the development of global recommendations on the core components of effective IPC programmes both at the national and acute health care facility level, based on systematic literature reviews and expert consensus. The aim of the guideline development process was to identify the evidence and evaluate its quality, consider patient values and preferences, resource implications, and the feasibility and acceptability of the recommendations. As a result, 11 recommendations and three good practice statements are presented here, including a summary of the supporting evidence, and form the substance of a new WHO IPC guideline.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6
Number of pages18
JournalAntimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Antimicrobial resistance
  • Bed occupancy
  • HAI
  • Hand hygiene
  • Infection prevention and control
  • IPC education
  • IPC guideline
  • IPC practices
  • IPC programmes
  • Multimodal strategy
  • Staffing
  • Surveillance
  • Universal health coverage
  • Workforce
  • Workload

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