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Washing hands properly is one of the most important things people can do to help prevent and control the spread of many illnesses. Good hand hygiene will reduce the risk of things like flu, food poisoning and health care associated infections being passed from person-to-person. (Contributed Photo)

To highlight the importance of infection prevention and raise awareness of everyone’s role in protecting the public, Kenner Army Health Clinic is supporting International Infection Prevention Week October 13-19 with static educational displays for patients and fun activities for staff. IIPW is sponsored by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology.

This year, the week will raise awareness about the importance of vaccination. With measles cases now numbering more than 1,200 and spreading nationwide, protecting “loved ones” through vaccination is more important than ever. The 2019 IIPW theme is “Vaccines are Everybody’s Business.” Health care professionals from all settings and levels play an important role in protecting patients.

“We want to engage our community around this important topic,” said Deneen Archer, KAHC patient safety/infection control manager. “Therefore, we will host several events to outline the ways in which patients, families, and health care providers can all work together to keep patients safe. It takes a team to truly protect patients everywhere, and we need everyone’s help.”

There also are available free downloadable resources and activities for patients and families, as well as, fact sheets on infection prevention basics, settings of care and more. For these resources, visit  www.apic.org/infectionpreventionandyou. New this year, APIC has developed a infographic to help remind health care professionals and others how to stop the spread of infection.

“Keeping patients safe from infection is everyone’s responsibility. From nurses to doctors, environmental services, everyone needs to know the top ways to prevent infections,” said Archer.

 Planned local IIPW activities include patient educational materials regarding the importance of vaccinations being displayed in the pharmacy and A Avenue lobbies.

Staff members also will participate in fun activities while learning about patient safety and infection prevention. This includes vaccinations that provide a safe environment for everyone.

Archer noted, “Vaccinations help protect our vulnerable population such as infants, children, the elderly and those with weakened immunity.

For more information, contact Archer at 804-734-9028.