05 May 2021 | Abuja – World Hand Hygiene Day 2021
Today, the 5th of May 2021, Nigerians are joining millions of people around the world to mark Global Hand Hygiene Day. 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 Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (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.
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!”
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.
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.
About the NCDC
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control is the country’s national public health institute, with the mandate to lead the preparedness, detection and response to public health emergencies. The Bill for an Act to establish NCDC was signed into law in November 2018, by President Muhammadu Buhari. The mission for the NCDC is ‘To protect the health of Nigerians through evidence-based prevention, integrated disease surveillance and response, using a One Health approach, guided by research and led by skilled workforce’.
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Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu
DG, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control