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Healthy hand washing guide

According to the World Health Organization, a growing resistance 
to antibiotics and the rise of superbugs, calls for greater hand hygiene.

Healthy hand washing guide

Health professionals are increasingly alarmed by the growing resistance to antibiotics and are calling for greater awareness of basic hand hygiene to tackle the problem.

“Every day, we see more and more bugs developing resistance to the antibiotics we use,” says Claire Boardman, immediate past president of Australasian College for Infection Prevention and Control. “Our doctors are running out of drugs to treat patients.

Yet something as simple as washing hands can stop us from getting infections in the first place and help preserve the working drugs we have. We need to get this message out to the public and make sure standards are being implemented in hospitals, clinics, and homes across the country. This is something everyone can do, and it’s everyone’s responsibility.”

The World Health Organization has warned that many infectious diseases risk becoming uncontrollable. It has also reiterated the importance of hand hygiene in reducing the transmission of healthcare-associated infections.

Hand hygiene is simple, affordable, and effective. It can help cut health costs by reducing reliance on more expensive drugs and by freeing up health services. And it can save lives.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we must learn to wash our hands the right way:

• Wet hands with clean, running water (warm or cold) and apply soap.

• Rub hands together to make a lather and scrub well; be sure to scrub the backs of hands, between the fingers, and under the nails.

• Continue rubbing hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.

• Rinse hands well under running water.

• Air-dry hands or dry them with a clean towel.

• If soap and water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based santiser with at least 60 per cent alcohol.

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