Joint Conference: Infection Prevention and Control Africa Network (IPCAN) and the International Federation of Infection Control (IFIC) | Western Cape Government

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Joint Conference: Infection Prevention and Control Africa Network (IPCAN) and the International Federation of Infection Control (IFIC)

26 August 2010

Infection Prevention and Control African Network (IPCAN) is a recently formed organisation for infection prevention and control in the African region. It is holding its Second International conference at Spier Estate, Stellenbosch this year and the Opening Ceremony will be on the 29 August 2010. The conference will run from the 30 August - 1 September 2010.

The aims of IPCAN are to increase awareness around IPC in the African Region and to work closely with its partners from the WHO to reduce the burden of healthcare associated infections in the region. The transmission of blood borne viruses via injections and other medical devices, tuberculosis and healthcare associated infections requires programmes to reduce these infections. Epidemics in the region should be recognised and appropriate measures taken to contain them. These, and many more aspects of transmission of healthcare associated infection and infectious diseases will be addressed at this conference and means of strengthening health systems in Africa will be discussed.

The events in the past months in not only Gauteng but also the Eastern Cape, have brought home a very clear message. According to the National Minister of Health's Opening Speech, infection control is one of the priorities in South Africa - however, the South African Nurses Council has not recognised IPC as a speciality despite repeated applications since 2006. The Health Professional Council of South Africa has not considered IPC as a speciality in its own right. It is clear that there is an urgent need to recognise IPC as has happened in several other countries worldwide and to give support to training and funding. IPC is a pillar of quality assurance which ensures safety of both the healthcare workers and patients. IPC helps to improve trust in the healthcare services.

The keynote speaker at the Opening Ceremony will be Prof Househam, Head of Health for the Provincial Government of Western Cape. The National Department of Health will be represented by Dr Louis D Claassens, Directorate of Quality Assurance.

Understanding Infection Prevention and Control authored by Prof Shaheen Mehtar, Chair of IPCAN has been published to address some of the issues mentioned above and to support formal training in IPC for not only South Africa but also the region. The book will be launched at the opening ceremony. The royalties from the book have been donated to IPCAN.

For further information, please visit the congress website on

Issued by the Directorate: Communications for the Western Cape Department of Health.

For more information please contact:

Anne-Marie Moolman
IPCAN Conference
Cell: 083 791 7711