Prevention and control of health care–associated infections in Iran: A qualitative study to explore challenges and barriers

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Globally, the health and economic burden posed by health care–associated infections (HAIs) remains wide and severe. To curb the burden associated with HAIs, countries, including Iran, aim at HAI prevention and control. This study explores the challenges faced by the Iranian health system in addressing the issues associated with the prevention and control of HAIs.


A qualitative research method was adopted in exploring the phenomenon. We used the purposive sampling approach in reaching 24 key informants at the national and subnational levels. The thematic framework analysis was conducted for analyzing the interviews.


Five main themes emerged from our study demonstrating the obstacles toward the prevention and control of HAIs. They include governance and stewardship, resources, safety culture, monitoring and surveillance systems, and inappropriate prescription of antibiotics.


Strengthening of reporting and surveillance systems for HAIs coupled with proper governance and stewardship are crucial in order to improve the health and safety of patients. However, the availability of resources, through an intersectoral approach, is essential to achieve sustained output.

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