Global Hand Washing Day- 15th October 2011

Global
Hand Washing Day
was created in 2008 by the Global Public-Private Partnership for Hand Washing. Its aim is to promote
the benefits of hand washing with soap across the world and to foster a global
culture of hand washing, highlighting the state of hand hygiene in every
country.

Global
Hand Washing Day was initially aimed at children and schools, but anyone
promoting hand washing with soap can join in the celebration. Each year,
millions of people worldwide get involved in celebrating and promoting good
hand hygiene.

Thorough hand washing is a simple but effective way of preventing transmission
of many diseases that can cause illnesses such as respiratory infections and
gastrointestinal problems, such as diarrhea. A
recent study publi
shed in BioMed
Central’s
Nutrition Journal found that diarrhea is a major cause of complication in
children with severe acu
te malnutrition. The study looked at children admitted to hospital in
Lusaka, Zambia.
Those children
with diarrhea on admiss
ion had a two and half times greater risk of mortality than
those without.  Another
study published in BMC Public Health
highlighted the plight of school children in Makurdi, Nigeria. The study showed that 77.3%
of the children were underweight while 31.3% were severely malnourished. The
study concluded that better environmental sanitation and improved hygiene
practices, along with improvements in general child care, would help reverse
trends.

The promotion
of good hand hygiene is essential in controlling hospital infections . A
study
protocol
in Implementation Science highlights the dangers of poor hand sanitation
and its relation to hospital acquired infections. 
Micro-organisms
on the hands of healthcare workers contribute to the incidence of infections in
patients.  Therefore, h
and hygiene
prescriptions are
widely accepted as the most important measure in the
prevention of HAIs.”
(Anita Huis et al)
The study aims to test the effects of two
strategies used to improve nurses hand washing tendencies, in an effort to
evaluate their effectiveness.

To find
out more or to see how you can get involved in Global Hand Washing Day, please
visit
globalhandwashing.org.

 

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