World Hand Hygiene Day is celebrated annually on May 5th to raise awareness of the importance of hand hygiene in preventing the spread of infections and diseases. This year’s theme emphasizes the need to reduce the spread of infection and antimicrobial resistance in healthcare settings.
The Significance of Hand Hygiene
Hand hygiene has proven to prevent and control infections and diseases. During the COVID-19 pandemic, regularly washing hands with soap and water was one of the golden rules that prevented the spread of the infectious virus. Also, with Gauteng currently facing a cholera outbreak, practicing proper hand hygiene is more important than ever.
The Cholera Outbreak
Cholera is a bacterial infection that spreads through contaminated water or food, causing severe diarrhea, vomiting, and dehydration. Currently, Gauteng has confirmed 11 cholera cases and one death. MEC Nkomo-Ralehoko has stressed the importance of washing hands before and after using the bathroom, preparing or eating food, and touching animals.
The Role of Environmental Health Specialists and Health Promoters
To curb the spread of infections and diseases associated with poor hygiene practices, Environmental Health specialists and health promoters have been educating street food vendors about providing soap and water to customers to wash their hands before serving them food.
The Importance of Hand Hygiene
Hand hygiene is not only vital during a cholera outbreak but also for preventing the spread of other infections and diseases. Everyone must make it a habit to regularly wash their hands to stay healthy and safe.
World Hand Hygiene Day reminds us of the significance of hand hygiene in preventing the spread of infections and diseases. The Gauteng Department of Health encourages the public to practice hand hygiene to prevent infections and diseases and reduce the spread of antimicrobial resistance in healthcare settings. For more information, contact the Gauteng Department of Health.