Global Hand Hygiene Day – 5th May

Tuesday 5th May marks Global Hand Hygiene Day and it’s a campaign that is even more pertinent in current times. This year, the World Health Organisation (WHO) is calling for us to support nurses and midwives in managing infection control through proper hand hygiene.

As the COVID-19 crisis continues to affect people around the world, washing and drying hands has never been more important in preventing the spread of infection.

Thorough hand hygiene has remained the first line of defence since this pandemic began. The government, NHS, World Health Organisation, and other leading authorities, have all spoken about the importance of cleanliness, especially when it comes to the hands.

It shouldn’t take an outbreak like this to get everyone to improve their hand hygiene regime, but with just 20% of the population managing to wash their hands effectively after using the toilet (prior to the pandemic)*, it’s clearly a message that needs amplifying in these dark days.

There have been many reports on the most robust process to follow, when it comes to cleaning hands. We’ve compiled the most trusted sources, backed up by our own independent research by a leading microbiologist, to bring you the below advice:

Tip #1: Make sure you wash your hands properly. All research recommends that you spend at least twenty seconds washing your hands and forearms with soap and then rinsing. The NHS suggests singing ‘Happy Birthday’ twice when doing so, to ensure that you don’t skip vital seconds of cleaning. Here are a few other tuneful suggestions to help you out.

Tip #2: Damp hands are a thousand times more likely to spread germs than dry hands. According to the WHO, to protect yourself against the new coronavirus, once your hands are cleaned you should dry them thoroughly by using paper towels or a warm air dryer. Our own research has shown that you should spend 10 seconds drying with a paper towel or jet dryer and up to 40 seconds using a warm air hand dryer.

Tip #3: After you have left the washroom, make sure you use hand sanitiser after touching any other surface.

Tip #4: Maintaining a high level of cleanliness is vital to removing the opportunity for germs to breed, potentially undoing the good work of a hand-washing regime. When it comes to washroom hygiene, an air purifier can be extremely valuable, killing over 98% of viruses and bacteria that can be found on surfaces and in the air. Click here to find out more about air purifiers.

We really shouldn’t need a global awareness day for people to take hand hygiene seriously. If recent months have taught us anything, it’s that we all have a role to play in preventing the spread of bacteria and keeping our people and places safe. So, this Global Hand Hygiene Day, make sure you are doing your bit for infection control and keep it clean.

To find out more about Global Hand Hygiene Day visit the World Health Organisation website.