Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has urged Nigerians to make cleaning of their hands a top priority at all times in order to avert the spread of deadly diseases and other infections.

The Centre made the declaration yesterday, the 5th of May 2021, as Nigerians joined millions of people around the world to mark Global Hand Hygiene Day (GHHD).

According to a Statement issued by the Organisation, “The purpose of the day is to mobilise citizens around the world on the campaign which was launched in 2009 – ‘SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands’.

This campaign aims to maintain the promotion, visibility and sustainability of hand hygiene in health care settings around the world. Led by global advocacy efforts, the campaign now
supports a social movement that helps to keep patients and health workers safe.

Since 2019, the NCDC through the National Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) programme has led the country’s efforts to make hand hygiene day activities a major national event in order to raise the consciousness of Nigerians on these efforts, and their role in saving lives.” The statement said.

“This year, the global Hand Hygiene Day theme is “Achieving hand hygiene at the point of
care”, and the slogan is “Seconds save lives – clean your hands!” said Dr Chinwe Ochu, Director of Prevention Programmes & Knowledge Management, Representing the NCDC Director General at the event.

Dr Chinwe Ochu

She said while giving the keynote address at the event, “The COVID 19 pandemic has further exposed the risk of care-associated infections in low and middle income countries, particularly in patients admitted to intensive care units and
in neonates.

“This is a major public health problem in Nigeria and has a significant impact on morbidity, mortality and quality of life.

The national sub-theme for Nigeria this year is “One Nation, One Plan: Turn Nigeria Orange!”.This recognises the efforts that have been made since the launch of the ‘Orange Network’ in 2019.

The Orange Network is a network of dedicated tertiary health facilities in Nigeria supported by NCDC, through the ‘Orange Project’ to become centers of excellence in infection prevention and control.

NCDC recognises that the safety of health workers has to be at the forefront of Nigeria’s response strategy to prevent outbreaks of infectious diseases, Ochu said.

Therefore, in line with activities to mark the 2021 World Hand Hygiene Day, the NCDC in collaboration with the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) Jabi organised a lecture on the importance of hand hygiene in health care settings.

Together with its committed partners, Infection Control Africa Network, Nigeria Society for Infection Control, Dr. Ameyo Stella Adadevoh Health Trust (DRASA), Africa Centre for Disease Control (Africa CDC), the World Health Organisation (WHO) and others we ask that everyone takes action to promote hand hygiene. Some suggestions on how this can be done are as follows:

Health care workers: Now more than ever – clean your hands at the point of care!

IPC practitioners: Be a champion and mentor colleagues on clean hands at the point
of care.

Facility managers: Ensure hand hygiene supplies are available at every point of care.

Policymakers: Invest now to ensure hand hygiene for all.

Patients and families: Wash your hands regularly, clean hands save lives.

Vaccinators: Clean your hands with every vaccine.

Everyone: Make washing your hands a regular habit – it protects us all!

In collaboration with relevant government institutions and our partners, NCDC continues
to support health care workers to reduce the risk of transmission of infectious diseases
while administering health care in Nigeria.

Now, more than ever before, good hand hygiene must be part of all aspects of health care delivery.

By Dotun Roy

DotunRoy.com is a development driven news website with the overall goal of amplifying, promoting and advocating for positive societal change through Sustainable Development advocacy in line with UN SDGs components such as education, environmental sustainability and Climate Change, Human Rights, health, finance, housing, good governance as well as security in Nigeria and across the world.

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