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A tool developed by our researchers in Kenya allows hospitals to survey water sanitation and hygiene, to assess how well or poorly they are doing to prevent and control infections, and improve their overall quality of care. This will help governments and policy makers develop treatment guidelines, as well as reduce antimicrobial resistance.

My name is Dr Michuki Maina. I am a paediatrician and a health systems researcher and doctoral research student at the KEMRI Wellcome Trust Research Programme. My research mainly looks at infection prevention and control, and stewardship of antibiotics in Kenyan public hospitals, and how it can help us improve and reduce resistance to antimicrobial agents, what is usually referred to as antimicrobial resistance.

Patients go to hospital to get better. Unfortunately, depending on the structure of the hospitals, they can actually acquire infections in hospitals. My work is trying to reduce these hospital-acquired infections when patients are admitted to hospital with any tropical illness, so they can get a treatment, then get well and go home.

As part of the work in looking at infection prevention and control, we’ve developed a tool that can be used to survey water sanitation and hygiene, as a structure of infection prevention and control in these hospitals. We are hoping that this survey tool can be used by hospitals to find out how well or poorly they are doing in terms of infection prevention and control.

Here at the KEMRI Wellcome Trust Research Programme, the health systems and ethics unit has been quite keen to engage hospitals in the last 10 years to improve the quality of care provided in these facilities. Part of improving qualities includes making sure that the structure in these hospitals are conducive to prevent infections, so that the quality care that is provided is done together with the hospitals that are keen to prevent infections.

Antimicrobial resistance is becoming a global challenge, if we are not careful the rate of resistance increases, and the drug development and discovery is not as fast as how much resistance is happening. One of the interventions that have been found to reduce resistance to antimicrobial agents is having infection prevention and control strategies in hospitals. This is where I feel my work would play a big role in preventing infections and resistance in limited resource settings.

Part of our work is engaging with government and policy makers to try and develop treatment guidelines. My work, and having developed a tool that can be used to survey infection prevention and control, can hopefully be taken up by the Ministry of Health or County Governments as a formal assessment tool for public hospitals to assess infection prevention and control.

This podcast interview was recorded in May 2019.

Michuki Maina

Michuki Maina is a paediatrician and health systems researcher at KWTRP in Kenya. He mainly looks at infection prevention and control, and stewardship of antibiotics in Kenyan public hospitals, to reduce hospital-acquired infections and reduce resistance to antimicrobial agents.

Translational Medicine

From bench to bedside

Ultimately, medical research must translate into improved treatments for patients. At the Nuffield Department of Medicine, our researchers collaborate to develop better health care, improved quality of life, and enhanced preventative measures for all patients. Our findings in the laboratory are translated into changes in clinical practice, from bench to bedside.