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Strengthening healthcare systems and delivery - 'Hand Hygiene is Your Entrance Door'
Hong Kong's Department of Health (DH), through a series of events and promotional materials, called for healthcare workers and the public to pay attention to hand hygiene in support of the annual Hand Hygiene Awareness Day on May 5th.
Proper hand hygiene is the key element to infection control in healthcare settings and also a good habit for the general public. Since 2005, Hong Kong has pledged support to the World Health Organisation (WHO)'s first global patient safety challenge, 'Clean Care is Safer Care', and is committed to promoting good hand hygiene to control the spread of infectious diseases.
From 2010 onwards, Hand Hygiene Awareness Day has been marked annually on May 5th in Hong Kong to promote the importance of hand hygiene in both healthcare settings and in the community.
The focus this year returned to the role of hand hygiene in day-to-day healthcare. The newly launched theme was: 'Strengthening healthcare systems and delivery - Hand Hygiene is Your Entrance Door.'
In order to remind healthcare workers of the WHO's 'Five Moments for Hand Hygiene' (before patient contact, before an aseptic, after body fluid exposure risk, after patient contact and after contact with patient surroundings) - a core practice to protect patients, the Centre for Health Protection of the DH developed a series of promotional materials to help sustain hand hygiene practice among healthcare workers. In addition, the Infection Control Branch conducted seminars at various locations in Hong Kong for staff of Residential Care Homes for the Elderly to update their infection control information.
Educational resources and workplace reminders were also distributed to healthcare staff among hospitals, clinics and long-term care facilities. This year the CHP expanded the target audience among healthcare professionals to include general practitioners, dentists, veterinary surgeons and pharmacy departments.
In addition to hand hygiene compliance audits, various activities were organised territory-wide.
"No matter whether in healthcare institutions or in the community," said a spokesperson, "we also encourage patients, residents and the public to practice hand hygiene especially:
* Before touching the eyes, nose and mouth;
* Before eating or handling food;
* After using the toilet;
* When hands are contaminated by respiratory secretions, e.g. after coughing or sneezing;
* After touching public installations or equipment, such as escalator handrails, elevator control panels or door knobs;
*After changing diapers or handling soiled articles when looking after young children or patients;
* Before and after visiting hospitals or residential care homes; and
* After making contact with animals or poultry."
7th May 2015