Each year, millions of patients around the world are affected by healthcare associated infections, many of which are preventable through ensuring good hand hygiene, therefore the Public Health Agency (PHA) is sending out a clear message – SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands.
PHA is supporting the World Health Organization (WHO) in its global campaign on 5 May 2012 to improve and sustain excellent levels of hand hygiene. This campaign focuses on the reduction of healthcare associated infections (HCAIs) by emphasising the vital role played by all health and social care workers in keeping hand hygiene a top priority.
PHA also wishes to remind the public that good hand hygiene is also their personal responsibility – we all play a significant part in reducing and controlling the spread of infections by ensuring sure we have clean hands.
Dr Lourda Geoghegan, Consultant in Health Protection, PHA, said: “Effective hand washing is one of the most important tools in preventing many illnesses. Clean hands are vital in controlling the spread of healthcare associated infections, as well as other illnesses such as food poisoning and seasonal ‘flu.
“A strong focus on hand hygiene is critical to our efforts to prevent the spread of infections. The PHA continues to work with Health and Social Care Trusts, primary care, and residential and nursing homes to promote excellence in hand hygiene across all health and social care settings. This is a good example of a global health promotion initiative that is very relevant for everyone in Northern Ireland.
“It is the collective responsibility of everyone – healthcare workers and the general public – to be proactive in preventing the spread of infection. The simple act of cleaning your hands is paramount in ensuring clean, safe healthcare. I would urge everyone to follow good hand hygiene practices, whether in a healthcare environment or in the home.”
Contact the PHA press office on 028 9055 3663