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Chinese health sector calls for action on HAIs

This article was originally published in Clinica

Executive Summary

China’s nosocomial -hospital acquired - infections burden is affecting 10% of its patients yearly at a cost of more than RNB10bn (US$1.5bn) and needs to be addressed. This was the message conveyed by doctors and politicians at a meeting in October at the General Hospital of the People’s Liberation Army in Wuhan, China. Equipment such as respirators and blood dialysis machines, as well as hand cleanliness, were highlighted as key causes of hospital acquired infections (HAIs), which allegedly caused the death of eight newborn babies in Xi’an (the capital of northwest Shaanxi province) in September. Health ministry official Deng Min made the point that most HAIs are preventable and that greater attention therefore must be paid to pathogen isolation, asceptic surgery, and monitoring of hospital sanitation and ventilation, reports the Xinhua news agency. HAIs and a lack of proper HAI incidence data are a worldwide cause for concern. Current estimates are that around 6 million HAIs occur across the US, Europe and Japan annually. The US is estimated to have 1.7 million infections and 99,000 deaths from HAIs per year; and 3,000,000 patients across Europe are estimated to suffer from HAIs annually, with around 50,000 deaths occurring as a consequence of the infection.

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