Open Access Open Badges Research article

Perceptions of healthcare professionals regarding the main challenges and barriers to effective hospital infection control in Mongolia: a qualitative study

Bat-Erdene Ider1*, Jon Adams2, Anthony Morton3, Michael Whitby4 and Archie Clements5

Author affiliations

1 University of Queensland, School of Population Health, Queensland, QLD 4006, Australia

2 University of Technology Sydney, Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery and Health, New South Wales 2007, Australia

3 Infection Management Services, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Queensland, QLD 4102, Australia

4 Greenslopes Private Hospital, Queensland, QLD 4120, Australia

5 University of Queensland, School of Population Health, Queensland, QLD 4006, Australia

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Citation and License

BMC Infectious Diseases 2012, 12:170  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-12-170

Published: 31 July 2012



It is not fully understood why healthcare decision-makers of developing countries often give low priority to infection control and why they are unable to implement international guidelines. This study aimed to identify the main perceived challenges and barriers that hinder the effective implementation of infection control programmes in Mongolia.


In 2008, qualitative research involving 4 group and 55 individual interviews was conducted in the capital city of Mongolia and two provincial centres.


A total of 87 health professionals participated in the study, including policy and hospital-level managers, doctors, nurses and infection control practitioners. Thematic analysis revealed a large number of perceived challenges and barriers to the formulation and implementation of infection control policy. These challenges and barriers were complex in nature and related to poor funding, suboptimal knowledge and attitudes, and inadequate management. The study results suggest that the availability of infection control policy and guidelines, and the provision of specific recommendations for low-resource settings, do not assure effective implementation of infection control programmes.


The current infection control system in Mongolia is likely to remain ineffective unless the underlying barriers and challenges are adequately addressed. Multifaceted interventions with logistical, educational and management components that are specific to local circumstances need to be designed and implemented in Mongolia. The importance of international peer support is highlighted.

Infection control; Qualitative research; Challenges; Barriers; Mongolia