Media release: Wash your hands

Media release: Wash your hands

15 October 2020

The upbeat sound of ‘Happy Birthday’ regularly resounds through the halls of local clinics – and it has nothing to do with a birthday celebration but more with hand hygiene. Singing ‘Happy Birthday’ twice is a fun way to help you remember to wash your hands for 20 seconds.

Washing your hands regularly with soap is an effective and affordable way to prevent diseases and save lives.

Local health facilities will today, 15 October 2020, once again focus on hand hygiene to increase awareness and understanding about the importance thereof as part of International Handwashing Day.

“We do demonstrations of washing hands for patients and show them how to do it for 20 seconds in an attempt to improve hand hygiene in our communities”, said assistant auxiliary nurse Genevieve Lindoor from Conville Clinic. “Although most of our clients are well aware of the importance of clean hands, we do still see clients with dirty hands and nails.” Lindoor has been at Conville Clinic for 20 years of her 30-year career and has seen thousands of hands. “Remember to wash your hands before touching your eyes, nose or mouth, before and after changing a child’s nappy and after using the bathroom, before and after preparing food, after touching any surface in a public area like a communal kitchen, a lift or staircase railings, and after touching an animal,” said Nurse Lindoor.

Nurse Lindoor also reminds everyone to:

  • Have a paper towel ready, if possible, before starting to wash your hands.
  • Remove jewellery like rings before the time.
  • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds (remembering to wash between your fingers, the back of your hands and the cuticles and nails).
  • Dry your hands with a paper towel. Close the tap with this towel before throwing it in the bin.

As part of COVID-19 prevention, hand hygiene has been put in the spotlight. “It makes me happy to see how quickly children have become accustomed to sanitising their hands. We must not get complacent now and remember that clean hands play a big role in warding off illnesses such as COVID-19”, Nurse Lindoor said.

Caption: Genevieve Lindoor demonstrates correct hand washing techniques

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Nadia Ferreira
Principal Communications Officer
Garden Route and Central Karoo Districts
Western Cape Government Health