Prevalence of healthcare-associated infections and antimicrobial use among inpatients in a tertiary hospital in Fiji: A point prevalence survey

M. J. Loftus, S. J. Curtis, R. Naidu, A. C. Cheng, A. W. J. Jenney, B. G. Mitchell, P. L. Russo, E. Rafai, A. Y. Peleg, A. J. Stewardson

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Background: Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) and antimicrobial use (AMU) are important drivers of antimicrobial resistance, yet there is minimal data from the Pacific region. We sought to determine the point prevalence of HAIs and AMU at Fiji's largest hospital, the Colonial War Memorial Hospital (CWMH) in Suva. A secondary aim was to evaluate the performance of European Centre for Diseases Prevention and Control (ECDC) HAI criteria in a resource-limited setting. Methods: We conducted a point prevalence survey of HAIs and AMU at CWMH in October 2019. Survey methodology was adapted from the ECDC protocol. To evaluate the suitability of ECDC HAI criteria in our setting, we augmented the survey to identify patients with a clinician diagnosis of a HAI where diagnostic testing criteria were not met. We also assessed infection prevention and control (IPC) infrastructure on each ward. Results: We surveyed 343 patients, with median (interquartile range) age 30 years (16-53), predominantly admitted under obstetrics/gynaecology (94, 27.4%) or paediatrics (83, 24.2%). Thirty patients had one or more HAIs, a point prevalence of 8.7% (95% CI 6.0% to 12.3%). The most common HAIs were surgical site infections (n = 13), skin and soft tissue infections (7) and neonatal clinical sepsis (6). Two additional patients were identified with physician-diagnosed HAIs that failed to meet ECDC criteria due to insufficient investigations. 206 (60.1%) patients were receiving at least one antimicrobial. Of the 325 antimicrobial prescriptions, the most common agents were ampicillin (58/325, 17.8%), cloxacillin (55/325, 16.9%) and metronidazole (53/325, 16.3%). Use of broad-spectrum agents such as piperacillin/tazobactam (n = 6) and meropenem (1) was low. The majority of prescriptions for surgical prophylaxis were for more than 1 day (45/76, 59.2%). Although the number of handwashing basins throughout the hospital exceeded World Health Organization recommendations, availability of alcohol-based handrub was limited and most concentrated within high-risk wards. Conclusions: The prevalence of HAIs in Fiji was similar to neighbouring high-income countries, but may have been reduced by the high proportion of paediatric and obstetrics patients, or by lower rates of inpatient investigations. AMU was very high, with duration of surgical prophylaxis an important target for future antimicrobial stewardship initiatives.

Original languageEnglish
Article number146
Number of pages8
JournalAntimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 28 Aug 2020


  • Antimicrobial stewardship
  • Antimicrobial use
  • Fiji
  • Healthcare associated infection
  • Infection prevention
  • Point prevalence study
  • Surveillance

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