The Ministry of Health (MOH), represented by the Directorate General of Diseases Surveillance and Control (DGDSC), Central Department of Infection Prevention & Control (CDIPC) celebrated on Thursday at Muscat Holyday Hotel the World Hand Hygiene Day under the patronage of H.E. Dr. Mohammed bin Saif al-Hosni, MOH Undersecretary for Health Affairs.
Around 200 healthcare workers from different hospitals and other government health sectors in the Sultanate took part in this event. The World Hand Hygiene Day, which falls on May 5 annually, is detected to motivating and raising awareness of the healthcare providers about the importance of hand hygiene within the health institutions, as well as the community. This day aims to raise the awareness about the importance of hand hygiene and the significant role it plays in minimizing the transmission of disease especially in the health care facilities.
Dr. Saif Al-abri DGDSC Director General, welcomed the audience and give a talk about the important of hand hygiene day to remind the healthcare workers on its importance. Dr. Amal Al-maani, CDIPC Director reviewed in her speech the national campaign project that comes under the theme “Role model in hand hygiene”. This project focuses on the role of the leaders as model within health institutions in promoting healthcare workers' compliance with hand hygiene practices.
The Central Department of Infection Prevention & Control (CDIPC) develop an intervention plan to implement role modeling project at four hospitals in Muscat Governorate which included many activities such as selecting key staff (leaders) as role models in order to use their motivation to lead and encourage others health care worker, providing educational awareness for health care workers about the importance of hand hygiene, display posters of role model (leaders) as reminders for health workers about hand hygiene, nominate weekly staff as role model in hand hygiene, etc.. These interventions were tested by conducting audit for hand hygiene compliance within the targeted hospitals. This project demonstrated that the presence of role model in hand hygiene and education awareness can have a positive impact on the hand hygiene compliance of staff members.
Dr. Khalid Al-Harthy, IPC specialist, CDIPC, indicated that the World Health Organization (WHO) dedicated 5th of May the World Hand Hygiene and the theme of this year is “Fight antibiotic resistance – it’s in your hands’”. Dr. Al-harthi highlights the importance of hand hygiene best practices to prevent the spread of antimicrobial resistance. Clean hands before, during and after providing the health care or while dealing with patients is the best way to prevent infections and illness. According to WHO, every year, hundreds of millions of patients around the world are affected by healthcare associated infections. More than half of these infections could be prevented by caregivers properly cleaning their hands at key moments in patient care.
Ms. Najla Al-Zadjali, IPC coordinator, CDIPC explained in details the “Role model in hand hygiene” project which has been applied in four referral hospitals at Muscat Governorates (Royal, Khoula, Al-Massarh and Al-Nahdah hospitals).
Hand hygiene is the act of cleaning hands with the use of water and soap, or with the use of alcohol-based hand rub for the purpose of removing soil, dirt, and microorganisms. Hand hygiene can prevents or minimizes infections and the spreading of infections. Hand hygiene is especially important for people who handle food or work in the medical field, but it is also an important practice for the general public. People can become infected with respiratory illnesses such as influenza or the common cold, for example, if they don't wash their hands before touching their eyes, nose, or mouth.
The latest statistics indicates that more than 3.5 million child all over the world dies due to transmission of some diseases like diarrhea, acute respiratory infection, and more than 40% of these diseases can be controlled by proper hand hygiene; either using soap and water or using alcohol.