by The Welthi Bureau | 14 JULY 2018
Hyderabad, 13th July 2018: Washing your hands is often taken for granted, but the simple habit contributes significantly to patients preventing Healthcare Associated Infections (HAI). With monsoon at its peak, and a spike in incidence of contagious seasonal diseases, good hand hygiene plays a major role in avoiding infectious diseases caused by contaminated food and water. To raise awareness about hand hygiene techniques, the Helping Hand Foundation has launched a campaign with its ‘Swachh Gandhi’ program.
The Volunteers City NGO, Helping Hand Foundation (HHF), which runs the ‘Swachh Gandhi’ program at Gandhi Hospital, set up thermocol signs to display information about good hand hygiene techniques, and its ability to thwart certain communicable diseases. It also stressed on how diseases like diarrhoea claims the lives of 1.3 million children below the age of 5 globally, with several deaths in India, according to a UNICEF report.
Dobbala Naresh, a volunteer, said “Our idea is to engage the patient while counselling”. The plan was to cover patients, and attendants in all major IP wards and waiting areas, as attendants visiting the hospital are mostly at risk in large public hospitals of acquiring infections, and being aware of good hand hygiene can prevent the spread of these infections.
The campaign was initiated by the HHF earlier this year in February, and has reached out to around 1200 in-patients and 2400 patient attendants in the last 24 weeks of its operation at Gandhi Hospital.
The campaign focussed on sensitizing patients and their attendants on how to keep the hospital premises clean by following basic rules on waste disposal, and on the importance of personal hygiene. With the volunteers actively helping by cleaning the premises two days a week, the hygiene levels have improved, and patients and attendants have been taking steps to maintain personal hygiene by using soap, and using masks or handkerchiefs to prevent spread of airborne diseases.
“Our volunteers have counselled attendants not to bring children into wards,” said Mr. Mujtaba Hasan Askari of the HHF, “[the] one-attendant-per-patient norm is also being followed largely”. Dr. P. Shravan Kumar, Superintendent of Gandhi Hospital, added that the hospital was the first state-run hospital to run a sensitisation program on hygiene and sanitation.
Feedback from participants on improving hospital infrastructure has been collected, and was submitted to the hospital administration for further action. The HHF volunteers are also planning to create more campaigns to create awareness about waste management, management of bed sores, and do’s and don’ts in waiting areas.
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