The importance of infection prevention has been increasingly recognized as an essential component of quality health service delivery and technical competence. Clients, service providers, and the community at large are all at risk if standard precautions for infection prevention are not practiced. Infection prevention for FP is of most concern for injections, IUD and implant insertions, and sterilization operations.
Standard precautions are designed to help minimize client, staff, and community risk of exposure to infectious materials and to help prevent disease transmission. These include:
- Washing your hands—This is the most important infection prevention strategy.
- Protective barriers—Wear gloves, eyewear, and gowns and maintain a sterile field where needed.
- Instrument processing—Correctly process instruments and other items through decontamination, cleaning, and high-level disinfection or sterilization.
- Housekeeping—Keep the facility clean.
- Waste disposal—Properly dispose waste through burial or incineration.
- Linen processing—Handle, transport, and process linen correctly.
- Use and disposal of sharps—Prevent injuries with sharps.
Key Infection Prevention Resources:
- Infection Prevention: A Reference Booklet for Health Care Providers (EngenderHealth, 2001)
- Infection Prevention Guidelines for Healthcare Facilities with Limited Resources Learning Package (Jhpiego, 2004)
 Sharps refer to needles, scalpel blades, razors, etc.