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Hand washing saves lives: DAK on world hand hygiene day

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On world hand hygiene day, Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Friday said hand washing is one of the most effective ways to prevent infections and save lives.

“Hand washing acts like a vaccine that prevents deaths,” said DAK President Dr Nisar ul Hassan.

Dr Hassan said various studies have found that the simple act of washing hands with soap and water can reduce the incidence of diarrhea in children by almost 50% and cut respiratory infections by 25%.

Diarrhea and respiratory infections are two leading causes of death in children in Kashmir

“Reducing the number of these infections by washing hands would also help prevent the overuse of antibiotics—the single most important factor leading to antibiotic resistance which has reached to unprecedented levels in the valley,” he said.

The DAK President said many people die from antibiotic resistant infections acquired while receiving healthcare in hospitals.

“Up to 70% of these infections could be prevented if healthcare providers follow infection prevention and control practices which include hand hygiene,” he said.

Dr Nisar said despite saving lives, hand hygiene adherence among healthcare workers is suboptimal.

“There is moral imperative for hospital staff to practice recommended hand hygiene while dealing with patients,” he said adding “patients entrust healthcare workers with their lives and clinicians should not be the ones to make them sick.”

“Every year on May 5, world hand hygiene day is observed with the aim to raise awareness among general public and healthcare workers about the importance of regular and proper hand washing both at community level and hospital setting,” he said.

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