Keynote Speakers

Prof. Shaheen Mehtar

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Prof Shaheen Mehtar is an Emeritus Professor at the Unit for Infection Prevention and Control (UIPC),  Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University. She trained in the United Kingdom in Medical Microbiology, and was Head of Microbiology at the North Middlesex Hospital & Senior Lecturer at Royal Free Hospital until 2000 when, she moved to South Africa.  In 2004 established the Unit of Infection Prevention and Control, Tygerberg Hospital & Stellenbosch Uni, and has trained more than 1000 students ranging from basic courses to a Masters in IPC across 34 countries in Africa.

She is an internationally recognised expert in IPC and has been instrumental in setting up IPC programmes globally. She served on the executive committees of HIS, BSAC, ESCMID, ISC and ISID. She serves on several WHO committees for global IPC policies.

Shaheen is a founder member, and Past Chair, of the Infection Control Africa Network (ICAN) through which she is involved in IPC, WASH and AMR training across Africa and setting up national IPC structures in 8 African countries. She was actively involved in Sierra Leone during the Ebola outbreak. She has published extensively (170 papers), authored two books and several chapters.

Julie Storr RGN BNurse MBA

Authentic leadership and the future of IPC

This session will focus on leadership for effective IPC with a special exploration of authentic leadership theory and its relevance to the infection preventionist. To support our understanding of what makes an effective IPC leader, the session will explore relevant literature on leadership challenges and opportunities including how to build capacity and capability. The session will draw on current thinking that shaped recent WHO IPC and quality handbooks and training resources – resources that support those responsible for leading the development and implementation of national and health care facility IPC and quality activities, policies, strategies and operational plans. The session will conclude with some personal reflections on a leadership journey in the quest for high quality people-centered IPC.

Patient empowerment 1999-2019

The role of patient empowerment in the prevention and control of infection has been on the table for over twenty years and has been described as a critical element of hand hygiene promotion. It has also been the subject of much academic debate with many questioning its value and feasibility. 2019 marks the twentieth anniversary of my own personal journey into patient empowerment and this session will look back on what has been learned since 1999. I will argue that the concept is perhaps, to some extent, misunderstood and will put forward the case that, as part of a multimodal strategy it can add tremendous value to the quest for zero avoidable infections and enhanced health related quality of life for patients.

 Julie is a graduate nurse from the University of Manchester, where she also trained as a Health Visitor and more recently studied for an MBA. Julie is a director at S3 Global and has over a decade of experience working with WHO on the development, implementation and evaluation of global improvement programmes in the field of patient safety, quality and infection prevention and control, with a focus on behaviour change. Julie has worked with WHO units focused on Water Sanitation and Health (WASH), Quality Systems and Resilience and Global Infection Prevention and Control (IPC). Her technical and leadership expertise was called on to support WHO’s Ebola response and recovery efforts in 2014/15, with a focus on national IPC policy development in Sierra Leone. She has led on the development of evidence based WHO Guidelines (Core Components of Infection Prevention and Control Programmes at the National and Acute Health Care Facility Level, 2016) and implementation support packages (Core Components and CRO). She was previously President of the Infection Prevention Society of the UK and Ireland, Assistant Director at the English National Patient Safety Agency and Director of the seminal cleanyourhands campaign. Julie has authored a book (Perspectives and Perceptions of IPC – highly commended at the 2016 BMA Medical Book Awards), published widely in the academic literature and is currently writing a follow up book focused on IPC and the social sciences. She is peer reviewer of a range of academic journals. One of her recent papers on infection prevention and control and universal health coverage and quality was awarded research paper of the year in the Journal of Research in Nursing in 2017. She is currently studying for a doctorate in public health (health care leadership and management) at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore.

Siouxsie Wiles – Microbiologist

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Dr Siouxsie Wiles is an award-winning scientist who has made a career of manipulating microbes. She still can’t quite believe she gets paid to do this for a living.
Siouxsie is an Associate Professor at the University of Auckland where she and her team make bacteria glow in the dark to understand how infectious microbes make us sick and to find new medicines. She is also an enthusiastic tweeter, blogger, artist, curator and media science commentator and has won numerous prizes for her efforts, including the Prime Minister’s Science Media Communication Prize and the Royal Society Te Apārangi’s Callaghan Medal.
In 2016, Siouxsie was named a Blake Leader by the Sir Peter Blake Trust, and in 2018 was one of three finalists for the Kiwibank New Zealander of Year award. She recently published her first book, ‘Antibiotic resistance: the end of modern medicine?
2019 New Year’s Honours list she was made a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to microbiology and science communication.

Prof. Mary-Louise McLaws

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Mary-Louise is Professor of Epidemiology, Healthcare Associated Infection and Infectious Diseases Control at The University of New South Wales (UNSW) Australia, the Water-Health Leader for the UNSW Global Water Institute and Deputy President of the UNSW Academic Board. Her clinical epidemiology research is focused in patient safety improvement programs.
Mary-Louise has focused her research program on surveillance and hand hygiene. She performed the first Australian prevalence survey healthcare associated infections in the mid-1980s and went on to develop the first standardised semi-automated surveillance system for healthcare associated infections on behalf of the NSW Ministry of Health. In the mid-2000s she was the WHO Advisor to China and Malaysia for the development of their national HAI surveillance systems. She was a contributor to the WHO Guidelines for Hand Hygiene and an advisor to the WHO First Global Patient Safety Challenge: Clean Care is Safer Care project. Mary-Louise holds membership to the World Health Organization (WHO) Technical Steering Committee for the Infection Prevention and Control Global Unit.
As honorary epidemiologist to NSW Clinical Excellence Commission she collaborated on the first Australian hand hygiene intervention Clean Care Saves Live that preceded the national program while supervising early Australian behavioural aspects of hand hygiene intervention. She also collaborated on the NSW Clinical Excellence Commission CLABSI intervention that aimed at reducing central line associated infections in 32 intensive care units by introducing an aseptic insertion approach. This was adopted by ANZICS and rolled out nationally. She also collaborated on the Sepsis Kills intervention that aimed at early detection and treatment of sepsis in 32 emergency departments. This intervention saved over 200 lives and was awarded the Global Sepsis Alliance in the Government Category and in 2017 the Medical Journal of Australia/MDA awarded the publication Best Research Paper.
Post-SARS she collaborated with the Health Bureau to review the response to the outbreak in Beijing. In preparation of pandemic influenza the Chief Medical Officer appointed Mary-Louise to review the Australian Infection Prevention Guidelines for Healthcare Workers for evidence-based recommendations. Her capacity building in patient safety in low-medium resource settings includes ICU projects in Turkey, haemodialysis in Vietnam, hand hygiene for crowded healthcare settings in Vietnam, needlestick injury surveillance in Taiwan, water-related health in Vanuatu and Mali and understanding antibiotic prescribing practices and use of antibiotic in the community and food animals in Cambodia.
Her most recent projects have contested the reliability and validity of the human auditing used in the Australian national hand hygiene program against automation and clinicians’ behaviour around compliance.