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IMA raises awareness about how lives can be saved if all medical practitioners follow right hand washing technique
World Health Organization has dedicated May 5th to World Hand Hygiene Day, for encouraging patients and their family members to join health workers in their efforts to practice good hand hygiene.

Every year, hundreds of millions of patients around the world are affected by health care-associated infections. Caregivers properly cleaning their hands at key moments in patient care could prevent more than half of these infections.

The IMA 5 Moments for Hand Hygiene approach define the key moments when health-care workers should perform hand hygiene. This evidence-based, field-tested, user-centered approach is designed to be easy to learn, logical and applicable in a wide range of settings.

This approach recommends health-care workers to clean their hands

· Before touching a patient,

· Before clean/aseptic procedures,

· After body fluid exposure/risk,

· After touching a patient, and

· After touching patient surroundings.

Speaking about the same, Dr SS Agarwal – National President IMA said, "Hand hygiene is a crucial part of all infection prevention and control programmes in all settings that support surgery, prevents patient infection and reduces an avoidable burden on health systems. It is the responsibility of all medical practitioners to ensure that they ensure hand hygiene while attending to their patients. They must also ensure that the nurses, attendants and other staff working with them wash their hand before dealing with the patients. This simple activity can help prevent over 50 per cent hospital-acquired infections."

Hand washing involves five simple and effective steps (wet, lather, scrub, rinse and dry). Regular hand washing, particularly before and after certain activities, is one of the best ways to remove germs, avoid getting sick, and prevent the spread of germs to others.

How should you wash your hands?

· Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.

· Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.

· Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds.

· Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.

· Dry your hands using a clean towel or air-dry them.

Washing hands with soap and water is the best way to reduce the number of germs on them in most situations. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 per cent alcohol. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can quickly reduce the number of germs on hands in some situations, but sanitizers do not eliminate all types of germs and might not remove harmful chemicals.

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