March 15, 2022 admin
Hand Hygiene: A simple act with a massive impact on Infection Control
COVID-19 Prevention: Handwashing and Hand Sanitization:
Handwashing and hand sanitization has long been recognised as one of the most effective methods of disease prevention. When it comes to keeping ourselves healthy and safe, it is a simple act that pays off big time. Hand hygiene is also an important component of COVID-19 prevention. Hand hygiene needs to become an integral part of our daily routine and lives as we live through this pandemic and beyond, more than ever, as we embrace the new normal and live with COVID-19. We all know that this was a major factor in the outbreak of covid-19. Washing or sanitizing one’s hands helps to prevent illness and the spread of infections to others. Germs are removed from hands by handwashing with soap or using a sanitizer liquid.(1)
This aids in the prevention of infections because, People frequently touch their eyes, nose, and mouth without realising it. Germs from unwashed hands can enter the body through the eyes, nose, and mouth and make us sick. Germs from unwashed hands can enter foods and beverages while people prepare or consume them. Under certain conditions, germs can multiply in certain foods or drinks and make people sick. Germs from unwashed hands can be transferred to other objects, like handrails, doorknobs, table tops, or switches, and then transferred to another person’s hands.
Germs can get onto people’s hands if they touch an object that has germs on it because someone coughed or sneezed on it or it was touched by another contaminated object. This can spread respiratory infections such as covid-19, adenovirus and hand-foot-mouth disease. These germs can be passed from person to person and make people sick if they get onto hands and are not washed off 1 . Human feces are another important source of germs. Often when people use the toilet or change a diaper germ causing diarrhoea, such as Salmonella, E. coli O157, and norovirus can get onto their hands. Which is why hand washing and sanitization becomes integral in a fight against infections. Hand hygiene is also important in case of handling raw meat and few other food items as they too, serve as an important source of germs(1)
Removing germs through handwashing thus helps prevent diarrhoea and respiratory infections such as covid-19, and may even help prevent skin and eye infections.
Importance of spreading awareness and training of hand washing and sanitization:
Children, adults and communities all over the world suffer as a result of their failure to wash their hands. This leads to out-of-pocket medical expenses for many poor families. it also leads to school absenteeism, absenteeism at work places, prolonged illness and even loss of life.
Each year, approximately 1.8 million children under the age of five die as a result of diarrheal diseases and pneumonia, the world’s top two killers of young children. Handwashing with soap along with sanitization could protect roughly one third of young children who become ill with diarrhoea and nearly one out of every five young children who become ill due to respiratory infections such as pneumonia. Although people all over the world clean their hands with water, very few use soap or sanitizer in the process. Hand washing with soap kills germs much more effectively. Only 19% of people in the world wash their hands after using the toilet, according to estimates. Proper training of hand washing and sanitization can avoid these losses. Researchers have come up with few numbers that emphasize the importance of hand hygiene. It can achieve the reduction of the number of cases of diarrhoea by 23-40% (2) and Reduction of 58% among diarrheal illness amongst population with weakened immune systems 3 . Reduction of respiratory illnesses, such as colds, in the general population by 16-21 percent (4). As a consequence, it reduces school absenteeism due to gastrointestinal illness in children by 29-57 percent (5) along with a significant reduction in out-of-pocket medical expenses.
When it comes to illnesses such as diarrhoea and respiratory infections (e.g., colds), antibiotics are often overused for these health issues. overuse of antibiotics is the single most important factor leading to antibiotic resistant infections around the world. Handwashing and sanitization destroy germs at their source. Preventing illness reduces the number of patients who need treatment with antibiotics. This leads to the reduction of likelihood of antibiotic resistance developing. Therefore, Hand hygiene plays an important part in a fight against antibiotic resistance.
Glo Germ™ as an effective tool for handwash training:
In this age where infectious diseases have shown their potential to hurt our economy and affect our healthcare system, proper training for hand hygiene is more important than ever. Glo Germ™ is an excellent visual tool to demonstrate handwashing, surface cleaning, and sanitization techniques. The plastic simulated germs are contained in the liquid or gel and the powder, and the lamp illuminates them to test the effectiveness of your procedures. Glo Germ TM Liquid is rubbed onto one’s hands like lotion for handwashing training. Then, as usual, wash your hands or clean the area. The hands and surfaces appear to be clean. The ultra-violet light, on the other hand, paints a completely different picture. The discovery of the remaining germs will shed new light on the effectiveness of your cleaning efforts. When children, hospital staff or factory workers are being trained for hand washing and sanitization, it serves as a visual tool in training which makes improves the effectiveness of the training many folds and leaves a lasting impression in their minds(6)
- Ejemot RI, Ehiri JE, Meremikwu MM, Critchley JA. Hand washing for preventing diarrhoea. external icon Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2008;1:CD004265.
- Huang DB, Zhou J. Effect of intensive handwashing in the prevention of diarrhoeal illness among patients with AIDS: a randomized controlled study. external icon J Med Microbiol. 2007;56(5):659-63.
- Rabie T and Curtis V. Handwashing and risk of respiratory infections: a quantitative systematic review. external icon Trop Med Int Health. 2006 Mar;11(3):258-67.
- Wang Z, Lapinski M, Quilliam E, Jaykus LA, Fraser A. The effect of hand-hygiene interventions on infectious disease-associated absenteeism in elementary schools: A systematic literature review. external icon Am J Infect Control 2017; 45: 682–689.