oa South African Family Practice - Prevalence of healthcare-associated infection at a tertiary hospital in the Northern Cape Province, South Africa - research

Volume 60 Number 5
  • ISSN : 2078-6190
  • E-ISSN: 2078-6204



Background: Healthcare-associated infections (HCAIs) are a well-known public health threat; however, published data on the endemic burden of HCAIs in sub-Saharan Africa are limited. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of primary bloodstream infection (PBSI), surgical site infection (SSI), lower respiratory tract infection (LRTI) and urinary tract infection (UTI) at Kimberley Hospital Complex (KHC), Northern Cape. 

Methods: A one-day pointprevalence survey was conducted between February 2016 and March 2016 on all patients admitted to 15 selected wards at KHC. The Standardised Centers for Disease Control and National Nosocomial Infection Surveillance Systems criteria were used. 

Results: A total of 326 patients were surveyed and the overall HCAI prevalence rate was 7.67%. This included 4.60% SSIs, 1.53% UTIs, 0.92% PBSIs and 0.92% LRTIs. Patients with HCAI stayed a mean of 20.8 days compared with 9.1 days for the remaining patients. Almost 75% (n = 240) of the surveyed patients had one or more recognised risk factors. The most isolated microorganism among the 11 microorganisms isolated was Klebsiella pneumoniae (36.4%). Half (54.5%) of the isolated organisms were resistant to penicillin. At the time of the survey, 42.0% of all the patients were on antimicrobials of which amoxicillin/clavulanic acid was most commonly prescribed (29.9%). 

Conclusion: The overall HCAI prevalence rate found in KHC is encouraging, but the prevalence of SSI is of concern. Further studies are needed to identify risk factors and target this as an area where preventative interventions can be implemented.

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