Raising global awareness on maternal sepsis

Our collective efforts to raise awareness on maternal sepsis did not end with the GLOSS awareness campaign. Our colleagues from Philippines describe what they have been doing country-wide in the latest edition of the Obstetrics and Gynaecology Magazine published by the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. Follow this link to learn more about what has been learned through GLOSS and done since to stop sepsis: https://www.ogmagazine.org.au/21/4-21/raising-global-awareness-on-maternal-sepsis/

You can access the entire issue following this link: https://www.ogmagazine.org.au/category/21/4-21/

World Sepsis Day 2019

Today, 13 September, is World Sepsis Day and we are all still working hard at preventing, managing, and preventing maternal sepsis. Our colleagues from Philippines have been working especially hard at putting together a country-wide awareness campaign to “avoid infection during pregnancy and save lives.” The campaign came about upon findings from implementation of GLOSS:

  • 45% of women who participated in the study had an infection, yet its primary source was not identified
  • 48% were diagnosed based on clinical examination
  • 15% were diagnosed based on laboratory tests
  • 55% of the women had an infection on the day of admission to the hospital
  • 45% developed an infection while already in the hospital

In addition, a maternal death review of 108 women found that 9% of deaths in the Philippines were due to sepsis.

This is why the Philippines Department of Health in collaboration of the Philippine Infectious Disease Society for Obstetrics and Gynaecology (PIDSOG), and the Philippine Hospital Infection Control Society (PHICS) are leading a country-wide campaign that will target primary care providers and institutions using posters and education. Congratulations, Philippines!


Join the global community in raising awareness on sepsis. Follow this link for materials to use in your facilities and work settings.

AWaRe: handle antibiotics with care

WHO launched a global campaign to urge governments to adopt a tool, the AWaRe tool, to reduce the spread of antimicrobial resistance, adverse events, and costs. The tool classifies antibiotics from the WHO Essential Medicine’s list into three groups:

  • Access
  • Watch
  • Reserve

Join the global campaign by visiting the website and pledging to handle antibiotics with care.

Link to website: https://adoptaware.org/


WASH in healthcare facilities – a baseline report from WHO-UNICEF

WHO, together with UNICEF, published their first comprehensive global assessment of water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) in healthcare facilities compiling data from 125 countries, representing over 560,000 facilities. It reports that one in four health care facilities lack basic water services and one in five has no sanitation service – impacting 2.0 billion and 1.5 billion people, respectively. The report also reveals that many health centres lack basic facilities for hand hygiene and safe segregation and disposal of health care waste. Inequities are highlighted, including that non-hospitals, such as primary health care facilities, are twice as likely to have no water or sanitation services.

The report estimates that 1 in 5 births globally takes place in least developed countries where half of the healthcare facilities have basic water services. Each year 17 million women give birth in facilities with inadequate water, sanitation, and hygiene.

You can download the report here and/or visit the data portal here.

The press release for the report can be found here.


Save lives campaign 2019: Clean care for all – it’s in your hands

For 2019, the “SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands” campaign led by WHO calls on everyone to be inspired by the global movement to achieve universal health coverage (UHC) in promoting hand hygiene. If you haven’t signed up for the campaign already, please do so here. You can find the entire campaign toolkit following this link.

You can also download the poster for the campaign here: high resolution and low resolution

And the “5 Moments for Hand Hygiene” posters, adapted for different settings and populations here: https://www.who.int/infection-prevention/tools/hand-hygiene/workplace_reminders/en/


WHO Global Survey on Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) and Hand Hygiene

The Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) unit at WHO is coordinating a global survey on the current level of progress in IPC programmes and hand hygiene activities in healthcare facilities in the context of the annual WHO hand hygiene campaign –scheduled for 5 May 2019.

The survey has two levels, involving the completion of two tools at the facility:

  1. The WHO Infection Prevention and Control Assessment Framework (IPCAF)
  2. The WHO Hand Hygiene Self-Assessment Framework (HHSAF)

Healthcare facilities wishing to participate will receive an invitation after registering using this link or sending a request to who_ipc_globalsurvey@who.int.

All data submitted via the WHO IPC Global Survey online system will be confidential. English, French, and Spanish, versions are available (see dedicated pages) as well as some other languages. The survey will be open until 16 May 2019. For more information, please visit this link: https://www.who.int/infection-prevention/campaigns/ipc-global-survey-2019/en/



2nd World Sepsis Congress – Maternal and neonatal sepsis session

On 5 and 6 September 2018, the Global Sepsis Alliance held their Second World Sepsis Congress. Every session was recorded and is now available as a YouTube video or podcast. There was an entire session on the challenges of maternal and neonatal sepsis.

Please use the following link to see the YouTube video of this session and this link to access the podcast on this and other sessions.

For more information on the World Sepsis Congress, please visit their website here.


World Antibiotic Awareness Week 12-16 November 2018

World antibiotic awareness week (WAAW) is coming up and WHO has developed many communication materials available for download. We encourage you all to participate and contribute in spreading the word around these two important messages:

“Think twice. Seek advice”

“Misuse of antibiotics puts us all at risk”

During WAAW we encourage you to make use of the following resources:

  • social media messaging
  • a new infographic on how to improve use of antibiotics in surgical services
  • a training module for surgical site infection (SSI) prevention training module
  • a tele-class on implementation strategies and resources for SSI prevention (scheduled for 14 November from 2:30 to 3:30 pm CET)

You can also visit the resource page for the infection prevention and control (IPC) department at WHO for other IPC materials: http://www.who.int/infection-prevention/tools/core-components/en/

GLOSS in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

The GLOSS research team –principal investigators from participating countries, PhD students leading secondary analyses, data analysts, and WHO staff– met in Rio de Janeiro on 12-13 October to discuss the preliminary results of the study. Almost 60 people were present and participated in active discussions about the findings of the study and the campaign. The group discussed plans for development of manuscripts to be published early in 2019.


GLOSS Latin American team met a day early for a focus group discussion on research capacity strengthening


GLOSS research team in Rio de Janeiro


Many of the GLOSS researchers stayed on for the FIGO conference, also held in Rio de Janeiro. In fact, WHO hosted special sessions and several of our colleagues presented on maternal sepsis. All sessions were recorded so make sure to check on the FIGO website for a video of the presentations.


WHO @ FIGO2018


Full house during the maternal sepsis session


María Fernanda Escobar (country coordinator for Colombia) presenting at the WHO session on maternal sepsis at FIGO


David Lissauer (country coordinator for UK) presenting at the WHO session on maternal sepsis at FIGO


Mercedes Bonet (WHO) presenting on GLOSS at FIGO


Mercedes Bonet, Joí£o Paulo Souza, David Lissauer, and Pisake Lumbiganon at the FIGO maternal sepsis presentation


Our colleague, Wisal Nabag from Sudan, was awarded a prize by FIGO in recognition of her work in obstetrics and gynaecology in her home country. Congratulations, Wisal!

Wisal Nabag
Wisal Nabag receives a prize in recognition of her work


New publication by our colleagues in Colombia

Our colleagues in Colombia have just published an article that aimed to compare the characterization of an obstetric population diagnosed with sepsis using two scales: the systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) and sepsis”related organ failure assessment (SOFA). They included 688 pregnant women who were admitted in the high-complexity obstetric unit and intensive care unit in a hospital in Cali, Colombia. They found that using the SIRS scale could promote early sepsis management by identifying patients who require admission to the high-dependency units. However, they found low concordance between these two scales, suggesting the need to create diagnostic scales specifically for  obstetric populations.

Please follow this link to get access to the full publication: https://obgyn.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/ijgo.12580?af=R

Congratulations to our colleagues!