From a committee to a full-complement office. The former Infection Control Committee is now the DLSUMC Infection Prevention and Control Office (IPCO). The transition happened on October 14 during the regular Multidisciplinary Conference of DLSUMC’s medical staff.
And of course, the focus of the conference was infectious diseases. IPCO head and conference speaker Dr. Maria Nicolette Mariano emphasized that we are now in the era where infections are getting harder to treat. She cited the cases of Ebola, MErsCov, and Sars which rapidly spread to become an international health threat. In the Philippines, the threat of TB continues and ranked 6th among causes of death in the Philippines. There is also the growing HIV epidemic, with the Philippines recording a 51% increase of HIV cases in the month of May 2015 compared to the same month the previous year.
Thus, the heightened focus on infection prevention and control at DLSUMC. According to Dr. Mariano, the IPCO is responsible for developing and improving infection control and prevention policies and procedures for the hospital. IPCO will be under the office of the Medical Professional Services and will be headed by Dr. Maria Nicolette Mariano with Dr. Patricia Cantimbuhan as assistant head and Luzvi Villanueva, RN as infection control manager.
During the launch, the subcommittees of IPCO such as HIV/ AIDS Core team, TB Core Team, Anti- Microbial Stewardship, Surveillance of Healthcare Associated Infection and DOH-Philippines Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response also presented their objectives.
Before end of the conference, DLSUMC’s IPCO also launched the first ever hand dance music video that features doctors, nurses, students, and other hospital staff showing how to properly wash hands to prevent infection control.