May 7, 2019

NCDC investigates hand hygiene compliance in Nigerian hospitals

NCDC investigates hand hygiene compliance in Nigerian hospitals


By Gabriel Olawale

Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC has made known its intention to carry out a nationwide survey on Infection Prevention and hand hygiene in healthcare institutions with the aim of strengthen the capacity of the institutions in line with World Health Organization Core components.

Speaking at the launch of ‘Turn Nigeria Orange’ project, Director General of NCDC, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu said that Infection Prevention and Control, IPC including hand hygiene, critical to achieve Universal Health Coverage.

“It is a practical and evidence-based approach with a big impact on quality of care and patient safety across all levels of the health system. This informed NCDC decision in developed a five-year strategic plan to eradicate Lassa fever in Nigeria.

hand,  hygiene


“A core component of this strategic plan is to achieve a strong IPC culture across healthcare institutions in Nigeria. The ‘Turn Nigeria Orange’ project is a key activity to achieve this. Leveraging the ‘Turn Nigeria Orange’ project, NCDC will conduct a survey on IPC and Hand hygiene in healthcare institutions across Nigeria and use findings to strengthen the capacity of these healthcare institutions using the WHO Core components.

“In 2018 the NCDC facilitated a Training of Trainers for 28 healthcare workers from seven private and seven public facilities as IPC change agents. In collaboration with Robert Koch Institute (RKI), Germany’s national public health institute,and other national IPC stakeholders, NCDC developed an IPC curriculum to guide healthcare workers while delivering healthcare services. Earlier in 2019, the NCDC in collaboration with RKI, commenced the ‘NCDC Capacity Development for Preparedness and Response for Infectious Diseases’ (NiCaDe) project to strengthen capacity for IPC in secondary and tertiary health facilities across the country.

Also speaking at the launch, Chairman Senate Committee on Health, Senator Lanre Tejuoso said that the Federal Government is concerned at the recent spate of healthcare associated infections.

“No healthcare worker in Nigeria should risk his or her life in the discharge of duties in saving the lives of Nigerians. We will work together to strengthen capacity of our healthcare institutions to keep our healthcare workers safe as they work to protect the lives of Nigerians”.  World Hand Hygiene Day: Follow these 5 steps to wash your hands the right way!

Tips on Hand washing:

Every May 5th, the World marks World Hand Hygiene Day globally, to spread awareness about the need for the cleanliness of hands to avoid diseases and infections. The theme for this year’s celebration is ‘Clean Care for All – It is in your hands’.

Just like charity, cleanliness also begins at home. The most important thing is to teach your children and family members to wash their hands the right way. Just rinsing them through the water once or twice a day may not be enough to keep the germs and diseases away. You must learn to wash your hands the right way. It is easy and quick and can go a long way in keeping you healthy.

Here are five steps to keep your hands clean and healthy on this World Hand Hygiene Day.

Choose the right soap

It is important to understand that soaps are made for two purposes – a few soaps are beauty soaps, while some of them are designed to kill off germs from our hands. You must pick the right soap, go through their ingredients and know the purpose for which it is made. Handwash liquids are now considered better for washing hands now since the liquid never comes in direct contact with other people’s hands.

Lather properly

The next step is to dampen your hands, and lather the soap well in your hands, to wash off the dirt and germs from it. A lot of people just touch the soap and wash it off from their hands to get the satisfaction of washing their hands. It is important to lather the soap properly and rinse it properly between your hands.

Don’t miss the fingers

Our fingers are the part of our hands that come the most in contact with things, and therefore can be carriers of germs. It is important to wash your fingers thoroughly with soap and water, and not miss the Vs between your fingers. Dirt and dead skin cell residue can get accumulated between the fingers and contaminate your food if it comes in contact.

Clean your nails and cuticles:  Another part of your hands that require special attention and care are your fingernails and cuticles. Dry cuticles can lead to dirty nails, and dirt and germs caught in the nails can contaminate food, transfer germs to things and other people and cause infections and diseases. You must keep your nails and cuticles clean to avoid such problems.

Use a clean towel to dry:  Very often, we clean our hands pretty well but use a dirty washcloth to pat them dry and transfer germs back to our hands, making the whole effort go in vain. It is important to use a clean, dry towel to wipe our hands with after washing them well with soap and water.