Three Crucial Facts On How To End An Infection With Your Hands
Ending infections with the hands is extremely crucial, a disease control officer said.
Dr Tochi Okwor, an Nigerian Centre for Disease Control officer said hand hygiene must be top of the to-do list of healthcare workers.
She emphasises that hand hygiene is crucial for:
- Preventing diseases.
- Speeding up recovery.
- Reducing healthcare transmission of diseases.
Speaking at a virtual meeting on Twitter organised by the NCDC in collaboration with DRASA Health Trust, she said that hands can move infection from one place to another.
The virtual event was held in commemoration of the 2022 World Hand Hygiene Day, themed, United for Safety: Clean your hands.
Dr Okwor, the Antimicrobial Resistant and Infection and Control Programme coordinator emphasised that hand hygiene is beneficial to both patients and caregivers for disease prevention.
She explained that hands can transmit infection from one place to another. She upheld hygiene as the most crucial tool for infection prevention.
She described hands hygiene as the cornerstone of infection prevention.
“Normally, patients come to hospitals and expect that they get better and go home from whatever ails them, but the hands that are supposed to bring comfort and healing can also become vehicles of death if they take diseases, germs, microorganisms that can cause severe diseases and introduce them to parts of our patient where it can result in severe infection.”
She emphatically said safe hands is truly fundamental to safe health.
Dr Okwor said:
“The hands can move microorganisms, bacteria that cause infection from one part of the hospital, from one part of the patient to a part of the patient where it can cause infection.”
According to her, the World Health Organisation has identified what they call the five moments for hand hygiene.
“Those five moments have been found that if we as health workers can render our hands safe and free of disease-causing microorganisms, then we would be very successful in reducing healthcare-associated infections. Those infections that patients didn’t have before they came to the hospital but then acquired when they came to the hospital care.
“Just as the hands are central in bringing healing, the hands are also central in transmitting infection,” she continued.
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Another speaker at the virtual session, a Nigerian professor of medical microbiology, Folasade Ogunsola spoke on the complexity of healthcare provision.
She said: “healthcare provision has become rather complex in the last few decades with teams of professionals working together with technology and various processes.
“So it is unsurprising that an estimated one in 10 patients is harmed while receiving hospital care in high-income countries and we know that over 134,000,000 adverse events occur in hospitals in lower-middle-income countries such as ours, Nigeria, due to unsafe care that results in about 2.6 million deaths annually.”
“Essentially healthcare can be dangerous and we really need to be intentional about making sure patients are not harmed by avoidable incidents.”