Are You Ready For World Hand Hygiene Day: Hand hygiene really came under the spotlight during the pandemic as we all worked together to help prevent the spread of covid-19… and it’s certainly a lasting legacy of the health crisis, with hand sanitizing stations now to be found here, there and everywhere, certainly something we can be grateful for. What’s better than hygiene on the go, after all?
But, of course, it never hurts to go over old material and familiarize yourself with the best ways to go about prioritizing cleanliness and hygiene standards… and there’s no time quite like the present, with World Hand Hygiene Day fast approaching, taking place this year on May 5th 2023.
Run by the World Health Organization, the campaign for 2023 is putting the focus on community society organizations, groups that often work in close proximity to their local communities.
As such, they’re perfectly placed to spearhead and drive change at local, national and international levels, accelerating and sustaining action at the point of care to really priorities the safety and health of the wider general public.
Proper hand hygiene can help save millions of lives around the world each and every year when carried out at the appropriate moments during healthcare delivery. And it’s a solid investment that offers great returns, as well as serving as a sign of respect for those in need of care.
The theme for this year’s campaign is a combined approach to accelerate action in the prevention of infections and antimicrobial resistance in healthcare settings, building a culture of safety and quality where hand hygiene improvement is prioritized.
The defined objectives include strengthening and empowering communities of actors in healthcare to accelerate action and improvements at point of care, and fostering collaboration between people and organisations to minimize infection risks/antimicrobial resistance development in healthcare.
While this is very focused on a healthcare setting, the messages are still hugely applicable for businesses of all kinds, across all industries and sectors. For example, the campaign focuses on recognising the idea that a facility’s culture of safety and quality can be improved through cleaning hands at the right time, using the right products.
In order to focus on this safety culture, people at all levels have to believe in just how important hand hygiene and infection prevention/control is. Through adoption of appropriate behaviours and attitudes towards hand hygiene, any given organization’s safety climate will be perceived as valuing safety and quality for everyone through clean hands.
To help you foster this kind of culture at work, staff training and awareness campaigns could prove particularly fruitful, as could ensuring that you have the appropriate hand hygiene products readily available for staff members as and where necessary across your entire business site.
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FAQs Related To World Hand Hygiene Day
1-Why is Hand Hygiene Important?
Hand hygiene is crucial for preventing the spread of infectious diseases, including common illnesses like the cold and flu, as well as more serious infections such as COVID-19. Many germs, bacteria, and viruses can be present on our hands, and touching our face, eyes, nose, or mouth can facilitate their entry into our bodies, leading to infections.
2-When Should I Wash My Hands?
You should wash your hands:
Before eating or handling food
After using the restroom
After coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose
After touching surfaces in public areas (e.g., doorknobs, handrails)
After touching animals or handling pet food
After taking out the trash
Whenever your hands are visibly dirty
3-How Should I Properly Wash My Hands?
Follow these steps for effective handwashing:
Wet your hands with clean running water.
Apply soap and lather well, covering all surfaces of your hands (front, back, between fingers, under nails) for at least 20 seconds.
Scrub your hands thoroughly to create friction.
Rinse your hands under running water to remove soap and germs.
Dry your hands with a clean towel or let them air dry.
4-Is Hand Sanitizer as Effective as Handwashing?
Hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol can be effective at killing germs when soap and water are not readily available. However, handwashing with soap and water is preferred over hand sanitizer in many situations, especially when hands are visibly dirty or greasy. Hand sanitizer may not remove certain types of chemicals or harmful substances from hands, and it may not be as effective against certain viruses like norovirus.
5-Can Proper Hand Hygiene Help Prevent the Spread of COVID-19?
Yes, proper hand hygiene is one of the essential measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The virus primarily spreads through respiratory droplets from an infected person, but it can also be contracted by touching surfaces contaminated with the virus and then touching your face, particularly the eyes, nose, or mouth. Regularly washing your hands with soap and water or using hand sanitizer can help reduce the risk of infection.
Remember, practicing good hand hygiene is a simple yet effective way to protect yourself and others from infectious diseases. It is a small but significant step in maintaining public health and preventing the transmission of illnesses.