Johnson and Johnson Philippines, Inc. (J&J) together with the Philippine College of Surgeons, the Philippine Surgical Infection Society (PSIS), and several other medical organizations recently came together in a virtual dialogue to advance prevention and management of surgical site infections (SSIs) in the country.
The discussion focused on raising awareness among local healthcare practitioners of ways the local healthcare industry can address the growing risks of contracting SSIs in hospitals.
SSIs are a leading cause of nosocomial infection worldwide and is the third most costly type of healthcare-acquired infection (HAI). According to a report by the World Journal of Emergency Surgery, SSIs are estimated to cost US $20,785 per patient case.
In the Philippines, there is limited data available to give a clear indication of SSI’s impact, as awareness of the condition is still very low.
Dr. Esther Saguil, President of PSIS and lead coordinator of the program, shared that the need to control and prevent the spread of infections in hospitals has become more apparent, especially now in the time of the coronavirus pandemic.
She said, “SSIs can be prevented. With deeper investigation and improved reporting and observation, SSIs can be minimized or eradicated.”
The event was attended by almost fifty participants representing the different professional societies across the country, in line with the signing of Presidential Proclamation #971, which declared the second week of July as the National Infection and Prevention and Control Week, last June 23, 2020.
“This proclamation will strengthen our arms in the fight against SSIs,” said Dr. Jose Antonio M. Salud, Philippine College of Surgeons President.
“This will complement existing guidelines on the prevention and management of SSIs, as well as further improve utilization of resources, with regards to other guidelines on infection prevention and control in surgery,” he added.
As a key industry partner, J&J has continuously worked towards the prevention and management of SSIs in the country. Since 2017, the global healthcare company has provided hundreds of medical practitioners and experts with a platform to explore healthcare policies and implementation procedures, as well as develop the first SSI prevention guideline in the Philippines.
J&J Philippines President and Managing Director Raghu Krishnan shared, “We recognize that even with the pandemic situation, all other diseases and ailments remain urgent.”
He added, “Our collaborations with the many leaders for SSI prevention aim to help our partner doctors and healthcare practitioners hold the line as we continue to respond to the many health needs of our Filipino patients, that we may manage better and lessen health risks of Filipino patients.”