World Hand Hygiene Day 2020: A Call To Save Lives


The Lagos State University Teaching Hospital join the rest of the world in commemorating the World Hand Hygiene Day’, which takes place on the 5th of May and theme for 2020 is “Save Lives: Clean Your Hands”.


According to World Health Organization (WHO), “clean health care is among the most urgent challenges identified by the United Nations to be tackled in the next 10 years by the global community, in our race to meeting SDG deadline”, hence, the campaign to all health workers and other target audiences to join hands in celebrating and empowering nurses and midwives in the monumental work that they do to keep our patients, families and their colleagues safe by preventing health care-associated infections.

Tackling the subject of how well Nigerians have learnt to keep a healthy lifestyle which includes habitual hand washing, Dr. Adeyinka Adeniran, a Consultant and Public Health Physician at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) says in an interview in his office that, though not much attention had been paid to creating awareness in the past, the on-going pandemic has forced people from all parts of the society to strictly adhere to this practice. He says, “from observation, it is obvious that hand hygiene practices will never be the same again. People are more careful and they take extra effort in keeping up with personal hygiene, if they aren’t using sanitizers, they should ensure they have soap and water to wash their hands thoroughly for fear of being infected.

Beyond the COVID 19 pandemic, Dr. Adeniran opines that not keeping a proper hand hygiene, “causes health challenges like typhoid, ecoli and respiratory diseases. He therefore, advices that, “there has to be behavioral, cultural and social change in beliefs and ideologies that can become sustainable by all.”

The call to action by WHO spans amongst Nurses (Clean and Safe Care Starts with You); Midwives (Your hands make all the difference for mothers and babies); Policy Makers (increase nurse staffing levels to prevent infection and improve quality of care. Create the means to empower nurses and midwives); IPC Leaders (Empower nurses and midwives to providing clean care); Patient and Families (Safer care for you, with you).


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