What we do

What We Do

SPECT provides health care workers with knowledge and skills to decrease patient risks.

Thousands of preventable deaths occur each year due to postoperative infections. Ensuring surgical instruments are properly cleaned and sterilized is fundamental to decreasing these numbers.

Our approach to
creating lasting impact


Close enough isn’t good enough when it comes to sterilizing surgical instruments. SPECT's training program involves context specific classes on the fundamentals of sterile processing that consider local conditions and available resources.


Prior to SPECT's in-person training, an environmental survey of the sterile processing areas in local healthcare facilities are completed by SPECT personnel. Recommendations based on the findings are provided to leadership and staff of the facility.


Following SPECT's training program, participants are supported in their work settings by visits from SPECT personnel. These visits include meetings with facility leadership to discuss and elicit support for planned changes and address potential barriers to implementation.


Barriers to effective sterile processing include a lack of knowledge related to products and equipment needed to clean and sterilize instruments. SPECT explores options for acquiring these resources in-country and provides this information to local facilities. Supplies donated to SPECT are given to trainers for use in their training of others.


Fostering partnerships is key to the success of SPECT's work, as we endeavour to ensure all patients, regardless of where they live, have access to safe surgery. This is a global fight, and we make a bigger impact when we work together.


We’ve seen the less-than-ideal conditions that many resource-constrained healthcare facilities face. The participants' motivation to improve conditions has inspired us to increase awareness of sterile processing challenges by conducting research and publishing findings on the impact of our training programs.

Our Training Program


Clean and Confident: Impact of Sterile Instrument Processing Workshops on Knowledge and Confidence in Five Low- and Middle-Income Countries

Surgical Infections

Proper sterilization of surgical instruments is essential for safe surgery, yet re-processing methods in low-resource settings can fall short of standards. Training of Trainers (TOT) workshops in Ethiopia and El Salvador instructed participants in sterile processing concepts and prepared participants to teach others. This study examines participants' knowledge and confidence post-TOT workshop and discusses subsequent non-TOT workshops and observed sterile processing practices.


Improving sterile processing practices in Cambodian healthcare facilities

Infection Prevention in Practice

In 2019, a mixed-methods study was conducted with two cohorts in Cambodia, involving a total of eight healthcare facilities and 43 healthcare workers. Quantitative data were collected using a sterile processing assessment tool and a multiple-choice test pre- and post-training. Qualitative data in the form of interviews were obtained several months post-training.


Sterile processing in low- and middle-income countries: An integrative review

Journal of Infection Prevention

An integrative review of research literature on sterile processing in low- and middle-income countries published between 2010-2020. The aim of this paper is to appraise and synthesize available evidence on sterile processing in low- and middle-income countries.

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