Research Article|Articles in Press

Coverage and methods of surveillance of healthcare-associated infections in Middle Eastern and North African Countries

  • Aiman El-Saed
    Infection Prevention and Control Department, King Abdulaziz Medical City, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

    Community Medicine Department, Faculty of Medicine, Mansoura University, Mansoura, Egypt

    The Arab Countries Infection Control Network (AcicN)
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  • Fatmah Othman
    King Saud Bin Abdul Aziz University for Health Science, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

    King Abdullah International Medical Research Center, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
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  • Saud AlMohrij
    University of Almaarefa, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
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  • Mohammed Abanmi
    King Saud Bin Abdul Aziz University for Health Science, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
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  • Elias Tannous
    The Arab Countries Infection Control Network (AcicN)

    Infection Prevention and Control, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
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  • Majid M. Alshamrani
    Corresponding Author: Majid Alshamrani, Infection Prevention and Control, King Abdualziz Medical city, Associate Professor, Adult Infectious Disease, King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Riyadh 11426, Saudi Arabia P.O. Box 22490, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Phone: 96618043720/96618013250, Fax: 96612520772
    Infection Prevention and Control Department, King Abdulaziz Medical City, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

    King Saud Bin Abdul Aziz University for Health Science, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
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Published:March 15, 2023DOI:



      Surveillance of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) is a cornerstone for effective infection prevention and control (IPC) programs. The objective was to evaluate the coverage and methods of HAI surveillance in Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) countries.


      A cross-sectional study targeted IPC staff working in MENA countries using the Infection Control Network electronic database of the Arab countries. The study focused on self-reported surveillance-related characteristics of IPC staff, facilities, and the IPC program.


      A total of 269 IPC staff were included. They were mainly females (68%), nurses (63%), and working in GCC countries (83%). Approximately 69% of covered facilities had surveillance activities. Hand hygiene, multidrug-resistant organisms, central line-associated bloodstream infections, and catheter-associated urinary tract infections were the most common surveillance activities (>90%). The surveillance workload consumed 27% of the average weekly working time. The scores of performing multiple surveillance, with appropriate methods and tools, were 83%, 67%, and 61% (respectively). Appropriate surveillance methods and/or tools were linked to GCC region, CBIC qualifications, surveillance training, specific setting (acute care and long term), staff-to-bed ratio, presence and active function of IPC committee, presence of IPC annual plan, communications with healthcare workers, and leadership support.


      While most healthcare facilities in the MENA region perform multiple surveillance, surveillance methods and tools are still suboptimal and their optimization should be a priority.


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