Media Release: Have you washed your hands today?
For Immediate Release
5 May 2022
That is a good question to ask yourself and your loved ones to remind us all of the importance of clean hands.
COVID-19 has once again shown us the importance of hand hygiene as a non-pharmaceutical intervention of preventing the spread of germs.
Washing hands can keep you healthy and prevent the spread of respiratory, diarrheal and a range of other infections from one person to the next.
World Hand Hygiene Day is commemorated annually on 5 May. The slogan this year is: Unite for safety: clean your hands.
The World Health Organization explains that when a health facility’s ‘quality and safety climate or culture’ values hand hygiene and infection prevention and control (IPC), this results in both patients and health workers feeling protected and cared for.
Western Cape Government Health and Wellness facilities prioritise hygiene at all levels through strict IPC policies. Hand hygiene is also promoted in communities during outreaches and visits to crèches and schools.
Nathan Jacobs works as environmental health practitioner for Western Cape Government Health and Wellness, and experiences first-hand the impact of hand hygiene . ‘Hand hygiene is important as a non-pharmaceutical intervention to prevent the spread of disease. I see first-hand what important role hand hygiene has is in our places of work, schools and public spaces. We can prevent the spread of many diseases by keeping our hands clean.’
Washing hands with normal soap and running water works best. If access to a shared tap is available, the following method can be used:
- Make a hole in the lid of an empty plastic bottle
- Carefully fill the bottle with water
- Screw on the cap with a hole in it
- Wet hands with a little bit of water
- Apply soap and rub all over your hands to create a foam/lather
- Use the remaining water to rinse through the hole in the lid of the bottle.
Germs can spread from other people or surfaces when you:
- Touch your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
- Prepare or eat food and drinks with unwashed hands
- Touch a contaminated surface or objects
- Blow your nose, cough, or sneeze into your hands and then touch other people’s hands or common objects.
For more information visit: www.westerncape.gov.za
Caption: Nathan encourages everyone to wash their hands regularly.
Principal Communications Officer
Garden Route and Central Karoo Districts
Western Cape Government Health