Regular Hand Washing Plays an Important Role in Disease Prevention
With the aim of creating awareness about the importance of regular hand washing as part of a hygiene routine, Western Cape Minister of Health, Theuns Botha, attended a demonstration of the use of touch free dispensers at Mossel Bay Hospital on 25 August 2014.
Mossel Bay Hospital is the hospital in the Western Cape that procures the largest number of these dispensers – at the moment the hospital has 330 in use. There is one dispenser at the entrance of every room, as well as every basin in the hospital. Not far behind is Hermanus Hospital with 315 dispensers and third in line is Emergency Medical Services (EMS) with 280 dispensers. The total number of these dispensers in use at Western Cape health facilities, is 3767.
Garry Whitson (General Manager) and Ian Barbier (Director of PN Medical) demonstrated the advantages of the touch-free dispenser to Minister Botha. Sister Desireè Maritz, Mossel Bay Hospital’s Infection Prevention and Control Practitioner, demonstrated the efficiency of the hand wash procedure with a glitter bug test kit. The glitter bug test highlights dirty areas on your hand by using a special light.
Since the introduction of the hand washing campaign in the Western Cape, Western Cape Government Health has recorded a remarkable decrease in diarrhoeal disease hospital deaths in children under 5 years old.
Minister Botha said that hand washing as a regular hygiene routine can play a significant role in the prevention of disease, and in the Western Cape’s goal of reaching the Millennium Development Goals since 80% of germs are spread from our hands. “Through regular hand washing we can have a healthier society. Infection control is of paramount importance and the public should be aware of the advantages of regular hand washing.”