Media advisory #33 Hand Hygiene Day takes on added significance

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1 May 2020

 

 

Tuesday 5 May, is World Hand Hygiene Day and this year the campaign has extra relevance with the threat of COVID-19.

 

“Wash your hands” has been a frequent message in recent weeks, and it takes on special resonance with the World Health Organisation’s campaign this year, titled “Save Lives: Clean your hands”.

 

COVID 19 hand graphic

You might think you are safe wearing gloves, but germs and viruses can get through – that’s why washing your hands is so important.

The focus of the campaign are nurses and midwives but it has lessons for everyone, whether health workers or not.

 

COVID-19 Washing hands at sink One important message – especially during the current pandemic – is that simply wearing gloves does not protect you or those around you.

 

Micro-organisms, be they from a virus or any other source, can penetrate gloves so you should wash your hands before putting them on and immediately after taking them off.

 

Whanganui District Health Board’s Kathryn Harding said people should remember hand washing was really only effective when done thoroughly and when hands were completely dried afterwards.

 

“Effective hand washing and drying routines are a primary means of reducing infections in the community,” said Ms Harding, clinical nurse specialist (infection, prevention and control).

 

“Both should always be done before and after eating, grooming, or any other activity that involves hand-to-face contact.”