Providing Hand Hygiene with the Right Methods is Important for Preventing Many Infectious Diseases
Academician of European University of Lefke (EUL) Vocational School of Health Sciences Assist. Prof. Dr. Yağmur Ekenoğlu Merdan made some statements on the occasion of “5 May, Hand Hygiene Day” and conveyed detailed information.
Merdan said that “May 5th has been accepted by the World Health Organization as, World Hand Hygiene Day. Every year, the importance of hand hygiene is emphasized and it is aimed to increase awareness” and added that Campaigns on the World Hand Hygiene Day aim to create a global profile on the importance of hand hygiene in health services and to raise awareness raising goals to support hand hygiene improvement. She went on to say that Hand hygiene, which we emphasize the importance of these days when we are dealing with the Covid-19 outbreak, is known as the easiest and most effective method in preventing infectious diseases, preventing diseases and preventing the development of resistance to antibiotics. Merdan stated that “Every individual in the community, healthcare worker or anyone involved in patient care should practice hand hygiene correctly and on time. The spread of infections can be prevented especially in organizations providing health care services by increasing the hygiene practice of health workers” and pointed out that if the hand hygiene is not observed, the spread of infection factors, the increase of infections and the possible antimicrobial resistance will be an important threat.
Merdan listed the correct technique of hand washing as follows;
- Moisten your hands with water and use sufficient amount of soap. Foam the soap thoroughly on all surfaces of our hands and rub it vigorously for 20 seconds to cover all surfaces and fingers (wrists, palms, fingers, between the fingers, back of the hands and nails). Rinse hands thoroughly with water and dry hands with disposable paper towels, especially in public places. Turn off the tap with the paper towel you used to dry your hands and put them in the trash.
- Before washing your hands, remove your jewellery and make sure your nails are short. Do not use hot water as it may increase the risk of dermatitis during hand washing. Drying hands is an important part of hand cleaning. Wet or damp towels contain microorganisms and can contaminate your washed clean hands. If possible, dry your hands with paper towels or keep in mind that frequent replacement of home towels is very important.
- To prevent disease, we should wash our hands frequently, especially during the Covid-19 outbreak.
- Hands should be washed with the correct method before and after eating, before and after toilet, after changing the diapers of babies, after touching the uncooked food (especially red meat, chicken, fish, eggs), After sneezing, coughing, touching rubbish, combing or handling hair, after using common tools in public (public transport, money exchange, telephone, etc.),.
- It is also very important to wash hands before wearing a mask during the epidemic, frequently during use, and after removing it.
- If the hands are not visibly dirty, the hands can be rubbed with an alcohol-containing solution and hand hygiene can be achieved. To ensure hand hygiene with alcohol based solution, 3-5 ml of solution is taken into the palm of one hand, the two hands are combined and the hands are rubbed until they dry with all hands touching the surface and fingers.
- The purpose of the use of gloves is to prevent contamination of the hands, to protect against microorganisms transmitted by blood and to prevent the contamination of microorganisms in the hands of healthcare personnel. The use of gloves should never replace handwashing, as it cannot fully prevent the transmission of microorganisms. In addition, it is necessary to pay attention to the false trust of using gloves. Hands should be washed or rubbed with hand disinfectant before and after wearing gloves. When using gloves, mouth, nose and eyes should not be touched to prevent personal contamination. It should be changed immediately in case of tearing or puncture. Gloves should not be reused and should be removed and discarded with the clean side facing out.
Merdan finally stated that providing hand hygiene with the right methods in terms of personal and community health and increasing awareness in our environment is of great importance in order to prevent many infectious diseases.