Launched in 2009, the ‘Clean Your Hands’ annual initiative, which takes place 5th May, is part of a major global effort led by the World Health Organization (WHO) to support health-care workers to improve hand hygiene in health care and thus support the prevention of often life threatening health associated infections (HAI).
Hand hygiene remains the single most important factor in reducing the spread of infection in the healthcare environment. Notably in 2006, poor hand hygiene was attributed to the spread of MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) in UK hospitals.
Chris Tranter, product manager at Bristan comments: “People's hands are the most common way in which microorganisms, particularly bacteria, might be transported and cause infection, especially to those who are most susceptible, such as young children and the elderly. This can lead to illnesses, some being serious, including salmonella, campylobacter, flu, diarrhoea and impetigo.
Yet, despite numerous NHS campaigns promoting the importance of hand hygiene, it still remains a prevalent issue - with recent research showing that a huge 62 percent of men and 40 percent of women admitting they don’t wash their hands after going to the toilet.”
“As such, the key lies in taking the responsibility off the user by making the most of the latest clever technologies designed to alleviate this risk. Fundamentally, good practice constitutes arms bare to the elbows, lever taps that can be operated without using the hands (where the elbow is used instead). In addition, infrared taps, soap dispensers and urinal flushes that offer completely hands-free operation, are a hugely effectively way of reducing cross-contamination.”
“As we look to the annual global ‘Cleans Your Hands’ day it’s a powerful reminder of the grave risk presented by poor hand hygiene and the importance of taking a considering approach to washroom specification in order to negate this.”