islamabad-More than half of the common infections could be prevented if caregivers properly clean their hands during the whole process of patient care, speakers said on World Hand Hygiene Day.

The National Institute of Health (NIH) organized an awareness seminar for medical professionals, paramedical staff and students of the College of Medical Laboratories Technology (CMLT). World Hand Hygiene Day, marked globally on 5th May, highlights the importance of hand hygiene. The slogan of this year’s campaign is “It’s in your hands – prevent sepsis in health care”. The aim of the event is to promote hand hygiene practices. All chiefs of NIH along with principal, students of CMLT and senior officers of the institute participated in the event.

Addressing the audience, Brig Dr Aamer Ikram, Executive Director NIH said that every year, hundreds and millions of patients around the world are affected by health care-associated infections. More than half of these infections could be prevented if caregivers properly clean their hands. He emphasized that hospital administrators should take responsibility to make hand hygiene a quality indicator in their hospitals.  During his speech he said that health care-associated infections are one of the most common public health problems with an impact on morbidity, mortality and quality of life. Most germs that cause serious infections in healthcare are spread by people’s actions. 

Every patient is at risk of getting an infection while they are being treated for something else. Even healthcare providers are at risk of getting an infection while they are treating patients. Hand hygiene is a great way to prevent infections. He pointed out that it is clear from researches that developing the habit of hand washing with soap can reduce incidences of infections almost by half.

Over time it has been shown that good hygiene, especially hand hygiene, is linked to better health outcomes.

The consequences of poor hygiene are detrimental to the health of the whole family, especially children and especially for those who are working in the health care system.