Save Lives: Clean Your Hands – INGOs Focus on Hand Hygiene to Improve Global Health
By admin May 5, 2015

Hand Hygiene photo

On May 5th the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC), as well as, international partners and governments celebrate the Save Lives: Clean Your Hands campaign. The campaign was launched 10 years ago along with the WHO Clean is Safer Care programme, the campaign aims to encourage healthcare providers to practice good hygiene, especially training employees to wash their hands regularly in order to reduce the transfer of germs. Since the start of the Clean Campaign millions of lives have been saved due to the improved cleanliness of health facilities and healthcare providers. Hand hygiene has become a measurement of quality for healthcare facilities, especially in developing countries where access to clean water can be limited.

Hand hygiene is so important because of the spread of Healthcare Associated Infections (HAI), causing thousands of unnecessary deaths annually. Having healthcare employees wash their hands is a simple and easy method to reduce the prevalence of HAI. The risk contracting of HAI in developing countries is 22% higher than in developed countries, including 4000 deaths of children daily due to HAI. Hospitals in developing countries also experience 15% more infections facility wide than in developed countries.

Developing countries face challenges in access to clean water sources, sinks, towels and soap. Lack of access to these key items significantly decreases the ability of healthcare workers to provide a clean healthcare environment. Globally 1.6 million people die of diseases spread through unsafe water, poor sanitation and lack of hygiene practices. Along with international campaigns to support the improvement of hygiene policies many international organizations are also promoting campaigns that focus on teaching the importance of using soap. There are also many devices and tools that provide simple and economical hand washing stations that many hospitals and clinics in developing countries use to promote hand hygiene.

Given that it is the 10 year anniversary of the WHO Clean Care is Safer Care, WHO and the CDC are launching more campaigns and initiatives that will increase hand hygiene awareness. WHO will release monthly newsletters, create a new webpage, publish hand hygiene success stories on their webpage, provide improvement tools to governments and create a new webpage on hand hygiene and Ebola. The CDC is creating and Hand Hygiene Interactive Training Course, an online training course that will highlight the key concepts of hand hygiene and other standards to prevent HAI. The vast amount of international investment in the promotion of hand hygiene will result in improvements on a global scale and save thousands of lives.

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Thanks for sharing !

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