ADDIS ABABA-, WHO Africa Regional Director Dr. Matshidiso Moeti said that : " Frequent hand washing is one of the key ways we each play a role in preventing the spread of COVID-19." In a press release sent to The Ethiopian Herald, the Regional Director noted that, During the COVID-19 pandemic, as WHO has urged everyone to practice frequent hand washing as a key preventive measure.
"We have disseminated guidance on good hygiene practices and worked with partners to train more than 100,000 health workers in how to prevent infections when providing care. In Nigeria and other countries, we have worked with governments to influence behavioral change in health facilities through awareness campaigns, and with local authorities to share information on good domestic and community hygiene practices."
WHO has seen innovations in hand hygiene during this pandemic. For instance, Rwanda has promoted the use of hands-free, pedal-operated portable hand washing stations. WHO has also shared guidance on local manufacturing of alcohol-based hand sanitizers and many African countries, including Burkina Faso, Chad, Ethiopia, Uganda and South Africa, have scaled-up local production of sanitizers as part of the COVID-19 response.
The WHO scorecard on hand hygiene performance can be used to monitor progress and enhance accountability. " We encourage governments to include hand hygiene performance as a key national indicator of quality of care.We are also working with partners like Africa CDC to develop a legal framework to institutionalize infection prevention and control standards in health facilities. "
In building back better after COVID-19, good practices around hand hygiene need to be sustained and dramatically expanded to improve well-being in African countries. Public-private partnerships and investments will be crucial to expand and maintain infrastructure for safe water, sanitation and hygiene.
Significantly more financial resources are required in most African countries to achieve universal access to water, sanitation and hygiene services by 2030. Research is also needed on the socio-economic burden of healthcare-associated infections in African countries. It was learnt the day was observed on Wednesday under theme : "Achieving Hand Hygiene at the Point of Care."
BY MENGISTEAB TESHOME