Home News COVID-19, other diseases emphasise importance of hand washing – NCDC

COVID-19, other diseases emphasise importance of hand washing – NCDC

by Haruna Gimba

By Iyemah David

The Nigeria Centre for Disease and Prevention Control (NCDC) said COVID-19 and other diseases have emphasised the importance of hand washing with soap to reduce the spread of diseases.

Director-General of NCDC, Dr Ifedayo Adetifa told newsmen on Tuesday in Abuja, that majority of germs that caused serious infections in humans were transmitted by people’s actions.

Adetifa said globally the promotion of hand hygiene was one of the cost-effective public health interventions for the prevention and control of infections, particularly those caused by epidemic-prone pathogens.

“One of the effective means to prevent these infections is by practising good hand hygiene. Several studies have indicated that healthcare providers clean their hands less than half of the time they should.

“This causes the transmission of healthcare-associated infections among hospitalised patients,” he explained.

The NCDC DG said it was important to prevent the spread of germs, especially, in school settings, healthcare-related facilities, workplaces, hospitals, markets, worship centres and general public places like gyms, and shopping complexes.

Adetifa said it was important for Nigerians, particularly nurses, doctors, and healthcare technicians, who were in direct contact with people, to practise hand hygiene practices.

He said training teachers to teach hygiene to students in all the schools across the country had become imperative.

He advised that hand washing facilities with soap and clean running water should be provided in all the schools across the country.

He said Health Care Workers (HCWs), now more than ever, should clean their hands at the point of care.

“Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) practitioners: Be a champion and mentor colleagues on clean hands at the point of care. Facility Managers: Ensure hand hygiene supplies are available at every point of care.

“Policymakers: Invest now to ensure hand hygiene for all,” he advised.

Adetifa also called on patients and families to wash their hands regularly, noting that clean hands save lives.

“Vaccinators: Clean your hands with every vaccination. Everyone, make washing your hands a regular habit – it protects us all,” he said.

He said the NCDC remained committed to working closely with all relevant stakeholders in promoting hand hygiene practices among HCWs and the public at large.

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