Hand hygiene is critical to preventing infections and antimicrobial resistance in healthcare settings. So, on Hand Hygiene Day 2023, let's accelerate our actions prioritizing safety and quality of hand hygiene.
Clean hands save lives. Microorganisms that cause various diseases are all around us, and our hands get contaminated mostly & thereby spread the infection. Therefore, prioritising hand hygiene is essential to prevent infections and antibiotic resistance in healthcare settings.
Facts to consider:[2,3]
1. Germs on our hands can live for up to a minimum of three hours
2. Approximately two million bacteria are present on each fingertip
3. A germ's population can double in a matter of minutes
4. About 80% of disease transmission is through hands
5. When moist or wet, our hands transfer germs 1,000 times faster.
To effectively prevent the spread of germs, washing our hands regularly and correctly is crucial.
Critical aspects of hand washing:[3,4]
1. Before and following meal preparation and eating
2. During caregiving, someone who has vomited or has diarrhoea
3. Before and following the treatment of a cut or wound
4. After changing diapers or using the toilet
5. After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
6. After handling pets
7. Even after a handshake.
Let's follow these steps:
1. Wet your hands with clean, running water, turn off the tap, and apply soap.
2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds.
4. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
5. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.
Let's commit to prioritising hand hygiene in healthcare settings and our daily lives to prevent the spread of infections, including COVID-19. Together, we can save lives and protect our loved ones by keeping our hands clean and caring for one another.