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Infection Prevention and Control

We are all responsible for stopping the spread of germs and preventing others from getting sick. While handwashing is the best way to stop the spread of disease and germs, there are many other ways health care providers, patients and caregivers can help.


To help health care providers make the best decisions to prevent the accidental spread of disease a number of groups around the world have produced guidelines and best practice tools. These include:

Manitoba Health Infection Prevention and Control

Infection Prevention and Control in the Physician’s Office (Ontario and Manitoba)

WRHA Infection Prevention and Control (Manitoba)

Best Practices for Hand Hygiene (BC)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Guidelines Library (CDC, US)

NICE Infection Control and Prevention (UK)

Royal Australian College of General Practitioners Infection Prevention and Control Standards

Australian Guidelines for Infection Control and Prevention in Healthcare (2010)


Both the College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba (CRNM) and the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA) have created resources, including posters, booklets and videos, to encourage better handwashing and prevent the spread of disease:

Hand Hygiene Resources (WRHA)

Hand Hygiene Posters (Manitoba)

Canada’s Hand Hygiene Challenge is working to educate health care and the public about proper handwashing practice and have produced games, tips and fact sheets to help with this effort. Some of their resources include:

STOP! Clean Your Hands Day

Fact Sheets About Hand Hygiene

Around the world many organizations have created resources and are running programs with health care providers and patients to encourage better handwashing. Some of these groups and programs include:

Information About Hand Hygiene (IPAC Canada)

Clean Care is Safer Care. Save Lives: Clean Your Hands


Handwashing: Clean Hands Save Lives (CDC, US)

Germs. Wash Your Hands of Them (Scotland)

Hand Hygiene Australia


For health care providers and others working with children, there are lots of tools to teach kids why handwashing is important though the use of games, songs and other fun activities. Some examples include:

Do Bugs Need Drugs (Canada)

Wash Your Hands (CDC, US)

Watch Germs Spread

Scrub Club

Minnesota Department of Health (for all ages)

Kids Health Info: Hand Hygiene Why It’s So Important (Australia)

Bill Nye: How Do Germs Spread?


To make sure the medicines we use to get rid of infections today will still work in the future, it is important for health care providers to use antibiotics responsibly. Many groups around the world have programs promoting antimicrobial stewardship, or the safe and effective use of antibiotics. Some examples include:

Antibiotic (antimicrobial) resistance (Canada)

Federal Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance and Use in Canada

Antimicrobial Stewardship Program (Toronto)

Antibiotics for urinary tract infections in older people: When you need them – and when you don’t (Choosing Wisely Canada)

Treating sinusitis: Don’t rush to antibiotics (Choosing Wisely Canada)

Get Smart for Healthcare (CDC, US)

Antimicrobial Stewardship (IDSA, US)

Antimicrobial Stewardship (APIC, US)

Antimicrobial Stewardship (NICE, UK)


If you are interested in learning more about infection control and prevention or get involved in helping reduce the spread of illness you might consider the following associations:

Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC Canada)

o IPAC-MB (Manitoba Chapter)

Canadian Patient Safety Institute

World Health Organization (WHO) Clean Care is Safe Care

Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC)

Australasian College of Infection Prevention and Control (ACIPC)

Infection Prevention Society (UK)

See also Research on Infection Control