Syed Abdul Bari, MD, CIC

Location: India

Title: Infection Prevention & Control Professional

Company/Organization: Prince Sultan Cardiac Center

First Certified: December 2020

1. When did you realize that COVID-19 was truly a public health disaster?

Cases of Covid-19 first emerged in 2019 when a mysterious illness was reported from China. The cause of the disease was confirmed to be a new kind of Corona virus and the infection spreading to many countries around the world and became a pandemic. I realised that Covid-19 was truly public health disaster because there was no specific treatment even in developed countries, their health infrastructure for managing the critical cases and providing personal protective equipment for the healthcare workers resulting in morbidity and mortality.

2. What was your greatest challenge when working to limit the spread of COVID-19 in your facility?

Our greatest challenge was to prevent cross infection between patients, from healthcare workers to patients and in between healthcare workers. As most of the healthcare workers in our institute were from different nationalities our challenge to give clearance to re-join their duties after travelling from their respective countries after isolation, screening and final fitness to join their duties.

3. How did you adapt or change your processes to overcome these challenges?

We followed initial and updated guidelines periodically from CDC and WHO policies from infection prevention and control and we had our own policy for Covid-19, for our institute. Even if infection occurred in patients and healthcare workers we controlled it in initial stages and we had strict policy for outbreak, contact tracing, isolation and screening.

4. What was your greatest success in implementing COVID-19 guidance?

We have good administrative support to our infection control team in implementing the Covid-19 policy, in upgradation of infrastructure for Covid-19 patient and provision equipment. At no point of time there was shortage of PPE.

5. Did you make any unexpected partnerships during the pandemic?

As our institute was highly sophisticated and all international standard for infection prevention followed and updated guidelines were followed from Ministry Of Health regarding Covid-19 the need for any significant partnership was not felt

6. How did your existing partnerships affect your response?

The existing infrastructure and the collective teamwork of medical administration, heads of individual departments, Engineering controls and housekeeping played a significant role in prevention of Covid-19 infections in patients and healthcare staff.

7. Were you called upon to work in an unexpected healthcare or community setting?

The institute had strict policy for prevention of infection in healthcare workers after duty hours in the form of implementing high standard of infection prevention in their accommodation and during their visits to crowded places, in order to prevent infection from healthcare workers to patients and we had daily screening of healthcare workers before joining their respective duties.

8. How did your certification prepare you to face the challenges of an emerging novel respiratory infection?

After achieving my CIC certification the confidence level in me was at its peak. And I got special consideration, a key role in prevention of Covid-19 pandemic in the form of education of healthcare workers, strategies for Covid-19 vaccination and I was a part of research team in publication of transmission of Covid-19 in healthcare workers. During my certification various clinical scenarios in the form of disease transmission, mode of transmission and its prevention were very helpful in implementation of infection prevention strategies like case definition, outbreak management isolation practices, screening of high risk patients and healthcare workers, vaccination strategies and significance of vaccination in hesitant workers.

9. Is there anyone you would like to honor, why do you want to honor him or her?

I want to honour my current director and team members of Infection prevention and control of my institute in providing me immense support necessary in implementing of Covid-19 policy and the challenges faced during the outbreak of the institute and psychological support throughout the pandemic.