May 5, 2024

Hand hygiene day


Today is dedicated to hand hygiene. We learned just how important this is during the coronavirus pandemic: Instructions were posted everywhere telling people to wash their hands thoroughly. Precise instructions on how and for how long to soap and rinse were taught to every age group - from nurseries to universities - and dispensers with disinfectant were placed in all public facilities. The topic of hand hygiene was highly topical and was quickly integrated into our everyday lives. Even today, many of the dispensers are still in place and the signs are still up.

What was new to most people at the time has long been common practice for staff in clinics and care facilities: no surgical staff in Germany would enter the operating theater without having washed themselves thoroughly beforehand. The risk of the patient getting an infection through impurity would be too great. And of course you also protect yourself through proper hygiene. Strict guidelines therefore apply in all hospitals. So-called 'infection prevention control guidelines', which are the same worldwide. However, in many countries it is much more difficult to adhere to these guidelines than here in Germany. This is also the case in our partner hospital in Nyangao, Tanzania. For example, hand disinfectants are very expensive and the dispenser system is also difficult to obtain.

The hygiene team at Artemed Stiftung has therefore been working closely with those responsible for hygiene at St. Walburg's hospital for a long time in order to implement the hygiene guidelines there as well as possible. Among other things, hand disinfectants based on the WHO formula were introduced and many other dispenser systems were taken from the Artemed clinics and installed.

The reprocessing of the dispenser systems and bottles was introduced on site with the staff. In addition, those responsible were trained in hand disinfection and the 5 WHO indications. In order to guarantee sustainable implementation, there are monthly telephone conferences with colleagues in Tanzania. Any problems that arise are discussed and solutions are sought. Of course, the team also returns to the clinic on a regular basis to get an idea of the situation on site. This has enabled enormous progress to be made in recent years.

Today's Hand Hygiene Day is therefore a day on which the employees of Artemed Stiftung can look back with pride on what they have already achieved and see that their tireless work is paying off. Reason enough to continue this in the future in order to successfully maintain the standards.

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