Hand hygiene can save lives
20th OF October 2012
Researchers in Australia have suggested that increasing hand hygiene could reduce our need to use antibiotics – which may have a knock on effect on the global rise in drug-resistant microorganisms.
Clean hands can save lives
The World Health Organisation has warned that many infectious diseases are fast becoming resistant to current antibiotics, resulting in a reliance on more complex antibiotics, yet simply keeping our hands clean could be the solution.
Speaking at the Australasian College for Infection Prevention and Control Conference (ACIPC) in Sydney earlier this month, experts from around the region agreed that Australians need to be made more aware of the importance of good hand hygiene.
Claire Boardman, immediate past president of the ACIPC said that doctors are running out of drugs to treat patients and yet something as simple as washing hands could stop us getting infections in the first place. ‘Hand hygiene could help cut our health costs by reducing reliance on more expensive drugs and freeing up health services; but most importantly, it can save lives,’ she said. ‘There is no excuse not to act.’
This week is International Infection Prevention Week; help raise awareness among your friends and colleagues by promoting good hand hygiene.
Keeping your hands clean
You don’t need to make many changes to your everyday routine to ensure you have clean, germ-free hands. By washing your hands regularly using soap and water you will reduce the amount of microorganisms on them, which will not only minimise your risk of catching a disease - but will keep those around you safe too.
Water-free, alcohol-based hand rubs are ideal for keeping in your handbag so that you can wash your hands regularly, even when water facilities aren’t available.
• Teach children the importance of hand hygiene at a young age by insisting they wash their hands before eating. Incorporate a song to keep it fun!
• The World Health Organisation has a number of initiatives in place to promote good hand hygiene amongst healthcare professionals and the general public. Its global campaign is called ‘SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands’, which really emphasizes the importance of keeping clean hands.
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