Hand hygiene plays significant role in epidemics, pandemics fight – WHO

Regional Director for Africa of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr Matshidiso Moeti, has said frequent hand hygiene plays significant role in the fight against epidemics and pandemics.

She stated this Thursday in her message to mark the World Hand Hygiene Day, which is to foster and support a culture of hand washing, while raising awareness and understanding about the effective and affordable way to help prevent the spread of diseases.

“This year’s theme, “Unite for Safety – Clean Your Hands”, focuses specifically on health facilities.

She said evidence shows us that effective infection prevention and control measures, including hand hygiene, could reduce health care-associated infections by more than half, while boosting new-born survival rates by as much as 44%.

Dr. Moeti made a call to all health workers, patients and their family members to unite on hand hygiene to achieve a culture of high quality, safer care.

“The depth of the challenge of prioritizing hand hygiene as an infection prevention and control measure is highlighted by WHO/UNICEF global estimates, which reveal that one in every four health facilities worldwide lacks even the most basic access to water supplies, and one in every three do not have hand hygiene facilities at point of care.”

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