#GrandTurk, Turks and Caicos Islands – March 7, 2020 — World Hand Hygiene Day is celebrated annually on 5th May. The World Health Organization (WHO) global hand hygiene campaign SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands mobilizes people around the world to increase adherence to hand hygiene in health care facilities, thus protecting health care workers and patients from COVID-19 and other pathogens. The aim is to involve everyone in making frequent hand hygiene a routine part of our everyday activities.
Nurses and other health care workers are the front-line heroes saving lives from COVID-19. In alignment with the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife, the global hand hygiene campaign 2020 recognizes their critical role in the prevention of infections. According to WHO, every year, hundreds of millions of patients around the world are affected by health care-associated infections. More than half of these infections could be prevented by caregivers properly cleaning their hands at key moments in the delivery of patient care.
Hand hygiene is the act of cleaning ones’ hands with soap and water or use of 70% or greater alcohol based hand sanitizer, for the purpose of removing soil, dirt, and/or microorganisms. It is the single most effective action you can take to reduce the spread of pathogens and prevent infections, including the COVID-19 virus.
Hand hygiene is especially important for people who handle food or work in the medical field, but it is also an important practice for the general public. People can become infected with respiratory illnesses such as COVID-19, influenza or the common cold, for example, if they don’t wash their hands before touching their eyes, nose, or mouth. Hand hygiene is also important in the prevention of gastrointestinal diseases causing diarrhea and vomiting.
Hands play a crucial role in the transmission of COVID-19, a virus which is primarily spreads through droplet and contact transmission. Contact transmission simply means touching infected people and/or contaminated objects or surfaces and then touching other surfaces and/or to your mouth, nose or eyes.
The WHO call to “save lives” through proper hand hygiene is for everyone:
· Nurses: “Clean and safe care starts with you.”
· Midwives: “Your hands make all the difference for mothers and babies.”
· Policy Makers: “Increase nurse staffing levels to prevent infections and improve quality of care. Create the means to empower nurses and midwives.”
· Infection Prevention Control Leaders: “Empower nurses and midwives in providing clean care.”
· Patients and Families: “Safer care for you, with you.”
#safehands #handhygiene #infectionprevention
Issued by TCIG News, May 6