JIS News

The Savanna-la-Mar Public General Hospital in Westmoreland is promoting adherence to hand hygiene best practices at the healthcare facility in observance of World Hand Hygiene Day on Wednesday, May 5.

An initiative of the World Health Organization (WHO), the day recognises good hand hygiene as one of the most effective actions to reduce the spread of pathogens and prevent infections, including the coronavirus (COVID-19).

The day is being marked this year under the theme ‘A Few Seconds Saves Lives’.

Pediatrician and Head of Infection Prevention and Control at the Savanna-la-Mar hospital, Dr. Ludrick Morris, told JIS News that several activities will be staged at the facility on the day to emphasise the “importance of cleaning the hands”.

“We will be having a booth on the hospital compound where we will have displays of different hand-hygiene information, as well as we will be playing videos and… doing demonstrations of hand hygiene, both with staff and relatives,” he informed.

He pointed out that “it’s a patient safety initiative to ensure that we do not transmit infection from patient to patient and from the healthcare environment to patients, and it goes right across the board from the healthcare worker to the administration to the executive”.

“It’s really involving everyone and raising awareness that it’s a role that must be played by all in ensuring a safe healthcare delivery,” he added.

Dr. Morris told JIS News that the hospital has launched a hand-hygiene protocol and will continue to strengthen the initiative through consistent training of staff.

He informed that under the protocol, every individual within the institution receives hand-hygiene training, as well as hand-hygiene information, noting that “persons sign to that information as part of their commitment to hand hygiene”.

Dr. Morris told JIS News that the COVID-19 pandemic has helped to drive home the message that clean hands save lives.

“As it pertains to COVID-19, the role of the hand is [important] because we generally touch our faces with our hand – the eyes, the nose, the mouth – and that’s the entry point for COVID-19 and other infections, of course, that are spread by respiratory droplets or the respiratory route. If it is that we clean our hands… then we will prevent transmission of COVID-19 and other infections,” the Pediatrician added.

World Hand Hygiene Day was launched in 2009.

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