<p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>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.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>In 2008, qualitative research involving 4 group and 55 individual interviews was conducted in the capital city of Mongolia and two provincial centres.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>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.</p> <p>Conclusions</p> <p>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.</p
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