RESEARCH PAPER
The risk of blood-borne infections in Poland – opportunities and threats to public health, nationwide qualitative research
 
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1
National Institute of Public Health, Warsaw, Poland
2
Collegium Medicum, Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University in Warsaw, Poland
3
Higher School of Logistics, Warsaw, Poland
4
Department of Public Health, Medical University of Warsaw, Poland
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Anita Beata Gębska-Kuczerowska   

National Institute of Public Health, Warsaw, Poland
 
 
KEYWORDS
TOPICS
ABSTRACT
Introduction:
The article presents the diagnosis of the problem of blood-borne infections in Poland from perspectives of experts’ opinions at the voivodship level. The evaluation became the basis for subsequent analysis, aimed at creating assumptions for the proposed strategies to prevent blood-borne infections in Poland.

Material and methods:
Diagnosis was based on the expertise of practitioners in epidemiology and service providers. Analysis covered assessment of service safety, examples, recommended practices, forms and scope of education. Also covered is information for the general public from different aspects: points of view of recipients and service providers, legislation, system organization, and finances. The SWOT method was used in analysis. The opportunities and threats concerning the risk of blood-borne diseases for the service sector are presented, as well as data gathered from 42 representative experts from across Poland.

Results:
Databases on health indicators, covered by the reporting obligation of all diagnosed cases, are a crucial element of the surveillance system in public health (e.g. sentinel). Additional information on health care management (risk management) is not a common and routine approach. The study fills a gap in knowledge about risk management in the medical and non-medical services sector. The information also enriches education programmes (e.g. http://www.hcv.pzh.gov.pl/).

Conclusions:
Currently, the evidence-based approaches in medicine and in public health are standard. Experts emphasize that the opportunities for the prevention of infection risk are linked to technological advances and innovations, while threats are seen in both financial and organizational constraints, and the non-normalized, dynamically developing service market.

ABBREVIATIONS
SWOT – Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats; WHO – World Health Organization; HCV – Hepatitis C Virus; HBV– Hepatitis B Virus; HIV – Human Immunodeficiency Virus; NGO – Non-Governmental Organization; NIPH-NIH – National Institute Public Health/National Institute of Hygiene; US CDC – Centers for Disease Control of United States
 
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