Why perform hand hygiene?

Hand hygiene is a simple habit for sanitation. Hand hygiene when done properly is the best way to prevent infections from spreading. Throughout the day you accumulate germs* on your hands from a variety sources, such as direct contact with people and animals, or contaminated surfaces. If you do not perform hand hygiene properly, you can infect yourself with these germs by touching your eyes, nose or mouth. You can also spread these germs through contacting with others or touching other surfaces.

Who should perform hand hygiene?

Hand hygiene should be part of everyone’s daily routines. You should always perform and remind your family members or people around to perform hand hygiene as well.

When to perform hand hygiene?

Although it is not possible to keep your bare hands germ-free, there are times when it is critical to clean your hands to limit the number and the spread of germs.

Always remember to clean your hands in the following situation:

Personal Hygiene:

  1. Before touching the eyes, nose, and mouth
  2. Before eating or handling food
  3. After using the toilets
  4. After blowing nose, sneezing or coughing

After contacting or handling contaminated or dirty materials:

  1. After changing diapers or handling soiled articles from children or the sick
  2. After touching animals, poultry or their droppings
  3. After handling garbage
  4. After touching public installations or equipment, such as escalator handrail, elevator control panels or door knobs

Others:

  1. Before and after visiting hospitals, residential care homes or caring for the sick.
  2. Any time you find your hands dirty

How to perform hand hygiene?

You should clean hands with liquid soap and water when visibly soiled or likely contaminated with body fluid. When hands are not visibly soiled, clean them with 70-80% alcohol-based hand rub is also effective.

How to perform hand hygiene?

Steps for hand hygiene:

a) Clean hands with liquid soap and water:

  1. Wet hands under running water.
  2. Apply liquid soap and rub hands together to make a soapy lather.
  3. Away from the running water, rub the palms, back of hands, between fingers, back of fingers, thumbs, fingertips, and wrists. Do this for at least 20 seconds.
  4. Rinse hands thoroughly under running water.
  5. Dry hands thoroughly with a clean cotton towel, a paper towel, or a hand dryer.
  6. The cleaned hands should not touch the water tap directly again. The tap may be turned off by using the towel wrapping the faucet, or after splashing water to clean the faucet.

Please note:

  • Never share towels.
  • Dispose of used paper towel properly.
  • Store personal towels properly and wash them at least once daily. Preferably, prepare more towels for frequent replacement.

b) Clean hands with alcohol-based hand rub:

  1. Apply a palmful of alcohol-based hand rub and cover all surfaces of the hands.
  2. Rub the palms, back of hands, between fingers, back of fingers, thumbs, fingertips, and wrists.
  3. Rub for at least 20 seconds until the hands are dry.