Infection prevention and control (IPC) programmes and practices play a vital role to ensure outbreak preparedness and control, including patient safety and quality of care, which remain essential components of universal health coverage across health systems worldwide. However, detailed IPC evaluations using standardised validated tools, such as the WHO IPC self-assessment framework (IPCAF), are limited.
Tomczyk et al. have conducted the first WHO global survey to assess implementation of these programmes in healthcare facilities. IPC professionals were invited through global outreach and national coordinated efforts to complete the online WHO IPC assessment framework (IPCAF). The study found that despite an overall high IPCAF score globally, important gaps in IPC facility implementation and core components across income levels hinder IPC progress. Increased support for more effective and sustainable IPC programmes is crucial to reduce risks posed by outbreaks to global health security and to ensure patient and health worker safety.