Monday, November 25, 2013

"Hand Hygiene week- 2013"

(Contributed by Dr. Megha Sharma, R.D. Gardi Medical College, Ujjain, M.P. India)

WHO has recommended '5th May' as 'Hand hygiene day' which is celebrated in many countries. The week before or after the Hand hygiene day is celebrated as 'Hand hygiene week'. The purpose is to remind the health care workers (HCWs) about the importance of possessing clean hands during patient care. This directly relates to the decrease in the health care associated infections (HAIs). HAIs are the infections that result in long term disability and longer duration of hospitalization and treatment with antibiotics. The hands of the HCWs are the major cause of spread of HAIs in any medical facility.
Acknowledging the importance of hand hygiene- "Hand Hygiene week- 2013" was celebrated in a tertiary care hospital in Central India from 29th April 2013 to 05th May 2013 under the collaborative research project (APRIAM). The institute, R.D. Gardi Medical College, Ujjain is hosting the research project (APRIAM) in collaboration with Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden, since 2007. Dr. Cecilia Stalsby Lundborg (Prof, Global Health-IHCAR, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden), Dr. A.J. Tamhankar (National Coordinator, IIMAR, Prof, RD Gardi Medical College), Dr. Ragini Macaden (Prof, St. John's Research Institute, Bangalore) and Dr. V.K. Mahadik (Medical Director, RD Gardi Medical College) are the esteemed pioneers and mentors of the project APRIAM.
The project aims at improving antibiotic prescribing and maintaining hygiene in the study settings. The project coordinator and team leader (Hygiene team) Dr. Megha Sharma along with her team associates; Dr. Vishal Diwan, Dr. Anshu Jain, Amit Pawar, Dr. Love mehra, Dr. Devendra Parmar, Himanshu, Jeetendra Jat and Jaipal, developed and conducted the  "Hand Hygiene week- 2013" activities in the facility.
The objectives to conduct the activity were to sensitize the HCWs regarding importance of maintaining hand hygiene and to encourage the HCWs to maintain hand hygiene during patient care. All the activities were designed locally and were conducted in a joyful and interesting yet informative and purposeful manner.  
The celebration was inaugurated on 29th April 2013 by Honorable Medical Director, Dr. V. K. Mahadik in presence of Dean Dr. J.K. Sharma, Medical Superintendent Dr. S. Sharma and other staff members.
For the active participation of the HCWs; competitions such as Poster competition: with theme "Use of alcohol based hand rub in prevention of healthcare associated infections", Slogan writing: with topic “Use of gloves in patient care” were planned. Crossword puzzles related to hand hygiene, use of antibiotics and importance of alcohol based hand rub were provided to assess the knowledge of the HCWs. Answers to the puzzle were displayed on the following day.
One of the most popular activities was- “Add colours to life: Keep your hands clean”. Colour full hand prints of all HCWs were printed on the white sheet. Soap and water was provided to wash hands. Single use paper napkins was provided to dry hands thus to convey the message of “Use single use napkin/ towel to dry up your hands”.
Live videos and slideshows were displayed, both in Hindi and English, on computer screen at the site. This activity was mainly to target the persons accompanying the patients and visitors. The videos mainly demonstrated “How to wash hands?” and the importance of hand washing and maintaining hygiene.
Demonstration and training sessions for the community- This activity was conducted for the persons accompanying the patients such as attainders and visitors present in the hospital. The team demonstrated the 6 steps of hand washing and the participants followed it. Soap, water and single use paper napkins were provided to the participants.
During the week, the team also visited district government hospital to conduct the activities. This was in relation to make the HCWs of the hospital, a part of the hand hygiene activities.
Feedback for the concept of the hand hygiene week was taken from the HCWs with the help of a locally developed feedback form.
Prize distribution-Prizes were distributed for various competitions. The WHO Surveillance officer, Indore region, Dr. Sudhir Soni was invited as chief guest for the occasion. Dean, Dr. J.K. Sharma and many respected senior staff of the institute were present for the occasion.
Overall more than 500 HCWs participated in various activities during the "Hand Hygiene Week 2013". The whole event was appreciated by the HCWs and the print media as well.