Germicidal lamp and southern spirit feature in conference

Good old southern hospitality was front and centre as dozens of sharp minds descended on Invercargill for the the Infection Prevention and Control Nurses College (IPCNC) Conference.

Held at the Ascot Park Hotel, the theme of the conference was “Just Bluffing It”, which refers to both the southern roots and the many metaphorical bluffs, mountains, and valleys IPCNC traverse daily.

Dunedin-based Dr Brendon Arnold spoke to a full audience yesterday on UVC air disinfectant lamps that have been installed in southern hospitals in the wake of the pandemic to help prevent Covid and many other viruses.

“It’s ultraviolet C, so it’s different from UV A and B, which we think about skin cancer and sunburn and such, but it’s in that spectrum and it’s particularly … germicidal. It kills germs, viruses, bacteria.”

It had been used for close to three decades in other countries, particularly South Africa and Russia where diseases like tuberculosis are more common, but had not been widely used in New Zealand and Australia until recently.

Southern District Health Board Clinical Nurse Specialist for Infection Control Sue Dillon led the board in organising a conference, which she said had a great turnout.

Board member Miriam Vollweiler said the conference, though a long time in gestation, was a great showcase for Southland.

The conference included clinical and patient perspectives, specialist sessions on infrastructure, cleaning, MDROs, Covid-19, IPC in the community and interactive forums.

By Ben Tomsett