Achieving infection prevention and control – The Portuguese Experience

Creating a culture of awareness and action – Dr. Cristina Nunes, MD, FICE Bragança Hospital, Portugal.

Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are extracting a huge toll on human lives. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) reports that the total annual number of patients with at least one HAI in acute care hospitals in the European Union/European Economic Area (EU/EEA) and Croatia is estimated to be about 3.2 million.1 

In Portugal, the prevalence of HAIs was higher (10.5%) than the European average (6%) during 2011-2012.1 To counter this, in 2015, the Portuguese National Health System and Ministry of Health initiated a National Priority Program2 aimed at reducing HAIs, promoting the use of antimicrobials and decreasing anti-microbial resistance. The program, called the Stop Hospital Infection program, involved 12 health centres (19 hospitals) and aimed to reduce infection rates by 50% over three years (2015-2018).3  

Wish to learn more about the benefits that were brought by the STOP Hospital Infection Program in Portugal? Watch the webinar by Dr. Nunes!  


1 European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. Point prevalence survey of healthcare-associated infections and antimicrobial use in European acute care hospitals. Stockholm: ECDC; 2013. 

2 Portuguese Ministry of Health, Office of the Assistant Secretary of State, Order no. 15423/2013. Date of publication: 18 November 2013. 

3 Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian (Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation). Executive Committee Challenge STOP Hospital Infection at Date of publication: May 2018. 


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