Controlling COVID-19: hand hygiene must be accessible to all

UNICEF and the World Health Organization have launched the ‘Hand Hygiene for All’ joint initiative to help control the spread of COVID-19.

In a bid to control the spread of the novel COVID-19 infection the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization have launched a new join initiative ‘Hand Hygiene for All’ to help make hand hygiene accessible to all, including the least developed countries that have a lack of hygiene facilities.

Hand Hygiene for All

Henrietta Fore, Executive Director of UNICEF, and Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization, made a statement on the launch of the initiative. “As the world struggles to cope with a new disease, one of the most effective tools to prevent its spread is also one of the most basic. Hand hygiene has never been more critical, not only to combat COVID-19, but to prevent a range of other infections. Yet, nearly six months since the onset of the pandemic, the most vulnerable communities around the world continue to lack access to basic hand hygiene.

“According to our latest data, the majority of people in the least developed countries are at immediate risk of COVID-19 infection due to a lack of hand hygiene facilities. In the 60 highest-risk countries, two out of three people – 1 billion people in total – lack basic handwashing facilities with soap and water at home. Around half are children.

“All too often, schools, clinics, hospitals and other public spaces also lack hand hygiene facilities, putting children, teachers, patients and health workers at risk. Globally, two in five healthcare facilities do not have hand hygiene at points of care. We cannot overstate the threat.

“Many of the those who lack access to basic handwashing live in overcrowded, desperately poor conditions. Even before the pandemic, children and families faced barriers to accessing health and hygiene services. Now the grave risk of COVID-19 threatens further suffering and spread of this deadly disease.

“If we are going to control COVID-19, we have to make hand hygiene accessible to all. That is why we are launching a new global initiative to move the world towards the same goal: supporting the most vulnerable communities with the means to protect their health and environment.

“We are joining our efforts with those of other international partners, national governments, public and private sectors, and civil society organisations to ensure affordable products and services are available, especially in disadvantaged areas, and to enable a culture of hygiene.

“Public health response plans and reopening plans should couple physical distancing and other control measures with hand hygiene and access to safe water and sanitation, and must reach the most vulnerable communities.

“Our teams are developing comprehensive country roadmaps and committing human and financial resources to support global and local implementation efforts. Task teams will facilitate learning and knowledge exchange, while multisector stakeholders will strengthen hygiene programming and monitor global progress. Leaders and community mobilisers will advise on strategies and advocate for their implementation. Only together can we achieve universal hand hygiene.

“We must also ramp up investment in hygiene, water and sanitation, and in infection prevention and control. We urge countries to scale up, systemise and institutionalise hand hygiene and commit to strengthening the enabling environment, supply vital products and services, and to actively promote hygiene practices as part of a package of actions that save lives.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed an uncomfortable truth: too many people around the world simply cannot clean their hands. But we can help to reduce the spread, and we can prevent future infectious diseases from following a similar path. It starts by making sure everyone, everywhere has access to basic hand hygiene facilities with soap and clean water or alcohol-based products in homes, schools and healthcare facilities.”



Decline in foodborne outbreaks likely due to COVID-19 measures

More than four times fewer suspected food and waterborne epidemics have been reported in Finland in the past few months.

Between March and May, four suspected foodborne outbreaks were reported, compared with an average of 18 in previous years, according to the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL).

The agency believes this is because of the coronavirus pandemic and associated limitations and recommendations. When hands are washed diligently and food is prepared for smaller groups, there are fewer epidemics, the THL reported.

Suspected pathogens in the four outbreaks are Campylobacter, Yersinia, and norovirus.

Ruska Rimhanen-Finne, an epidemiologist at THL, said as summer comes, cooking and eating out will increase.

“The most important way to avoid food poisoning also applies in summer: always wash your hands thoroughly before cooking and eating. Also remember to wash vegetables, cook meat and take care of good food handling and storage practices.”

A common picture
More than 130 foodborne outbreaks were recorded in Finland between 2014 and 2016, according to an earlier report published in 2019.

Norovirus remained the most common agent and was responsible for 42 outbreaks. There was one Yersinia pseudotuberculosis and five Campylobacter outbreaks reported in that period.

The picture in Finland reflects reports elsewhere. Rates of Campylobacter and Salmonella infections in Australia have fallen since a lockdown was imposed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Experts in the United Kingdom and Ireland urged caution in interpreting a decline in foodborne illness figures during the coronavirus outbreak as an actual drop in infections while a Dutch report found people are paying more attention to hygiene in the kitchen.

Researchers at the National Food Institute in Denmark are testing a hypothesis that Danes’ increased focus on hand hygiene and changes in what they eat and who prepares the food will lead to a decrease in foodborne illness cases.I am text block. Click edit button to change this text. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.


By Joe Whitworth
Published June 17, 2020

The One Mistake You Shouldn't Make When Washing Your Hands. How you dry your hands is equally as important as how you wash them.

Washing your hands should always be part of your personal hygiene, but it’s especially important now, amid the coronavirus pandemic. One of the first guidelines released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) outlined how to wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. While you probably have the hand-washing part down, we bet you’ve made this one crucial mistake when drying your hands: You’re using a cloth towel instead of a paper towel.

Because paper towels are thrown away, there’s less risk of cross-contamination, unlike reusable towels. According to commercial bathroom products supplier One Point Partitions, “If multiple people use the same cloth towel to dry their hands and one of them hasn’t cleaned their hands appropriately or they touched a contaminated surface before they dried their hands, every subsequent person who uses the same towel will pick up germs during the hand drying process.”

One Point Partitions adds that “because users will throw out their paper towels after they dry their hands, paper towels don’t have the same risk of cross-contamination.” The World Health Organization (WHO) also recommends that you use single-use towels to dry your hands.

Once you’re done drying off, “use a paper towel to touch any surfaces—doors, faucets—in the bathroom before exiting,” Taylor Graber, MD, a resident physician at UC San Diego, previously told Best Life.

This last step is essential as faucet handles and doorknobs are two of the dirtiest touch points.

In fact, the faucet handles in your kitchen and bathroom contain so much bacteria that they were ranked the sixth germiest place in your home, according to the National Sanitation Foundation. And for more hygiene errors you should avoid, here’s how You Haven’t Been Rubbing in Your Hand Sanitizer Correctly, CDC Says.

By Chelsea Bengier
Published June 15, 2020

Soap business set to boom in coronavirus aftermath; other hygiene items also promising, says HUL

Soap business presents a massive business opportunity in the aftermath of coronavirus as more and more people adopt hygiene practices and become conscious of health concerns.

Coronavirus,handwashing access, covid 19 risk, COVID transmission, coronavirus cases in india, latest news on coronavirus outbreak.

Soap business presents a massive business opportunity in the aftermath of coronavirus as more and more people adopt hygiene practices and become conscious of health concerns. “While growth rates and usage rates of the past two to three months may not sustain, the HUL management seems confident in the opportunity for volume momentum and premiumization momentum being much stronger than it has been in recent years,” a Motilal Oswal report said citing Sanjiv Mehta, MD, HUL. Further, other home cleaning and hygiene-related products such as detergents are also expected to boom in the wake of coronavirus pandemic.

HUL also said that while market growth may not be under their control during the coronavirus outbreak, competitive growth is. “Big brands die when they do not reinvent and remain contemporary, an exercise in which HUL has succeeded for the majority of its portfolio in recent years,” the report said. The company had started to ramp up the production of soaps, sanitizer and hand washes under its in-house brand Lifebuoy as early as March, even before the government had implemented nationwide lockdown.

While FMCG sales in general remained down in the month of April and May, sales of evolved hygiene categories such as hand wash, hand sanitizer and floor cleaners continued to grow in lockdown phase I, according to a report by market research firm Nielsen. Many new companies also entered the hand wash and hand sanitizer segment after major demand and supply gaps arising out of the coronavirus pandemic. Dabur, Nykaa, Emami, Nivea, ITC also recently debuted into manufacturing of sanitizers for both commercial and charity purposes.

Meanwhile, HUL recently completed the acquisition of GSKCH. The merger comes at a time when customers are increasingly seeking health and immunity-boosting products. “With GSKCH’s strong proposition on nutrition, the current scenario acts as a tailwind for the HFD category,” the report said. During the pandemic, the sales of immunity boosting products has seen a spike with another FMCG player Dabur reporting 400% sales jump of its chyawanprash range in last quarter.

By: Prachi Gupta | Published: June 15, 2020

European Commission awards Resani Seal of Excellence for Covid-19 Response

Press Release: Oslo, Norway, 08.06.20

The European Commission has awarded Resani the Seal of Excellence for its Horizon 2020 proposal with relevance to addressing the challenges of Covid-19 and recommends the proposal for funding. The Seal of Excellence is a quality label, co-signed by the European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture and Youth, Mariya Gabriel, and by Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira, and is awarded only to proposals deemed excellent and evaluated worth of funding.

In a highly competitive process, consisting of more than 4000 proposals that were submitted under the European Innovation Council (EIC) Accelerator Pilot for Covid-19 Response in March 2020, Resani was one of 230 applicants invited to present our project before an international panel of independent experts, and was scored as “a high-quality project proposal” and despite qualifying for funding, the European Commission could not grant Resani’s proposal funding given the limited resources available for the call.

However, we are very proud to have received the Seal of Excellence from the European Commission, and because of it, we are more motivated than ever and see this as a great validation for our vision to reshape the global approach to hand sanitisation and to better equip and shield our societies against Covid-19 and future viral outbreaks. We remain confident that we will find the perfect partners within the next weeks and months that will help us in the final steps in bringing Resani’s technology to the world; a world that is in desperate need of new accessible, reliable and sustainable hand sanitisation technology that will help save lives.

Stay tuned!

For more information, please contact:
Ingvild M.S. Løken

Hand washing has been a focus under COVID-19. Here's why we should try and make the habit stick

Never before have so many of us been so attentive to the cleanliness of our hands.

With the quest to avoid COVID-19, we can’t so much as enter a supermarket without magic fluid being squirted into our upturned palms, and most of us are lathering up at the basin multiple times a day too.

But will this newfound love of soap and sanitiser last? And if so, how will it change things?

Will we all enjoy extended stints free of the common bugs that hands can help spread, like nasty colds and gastro illnesses?

Or could there be a downside? Could all this cleanliness perhaps weaken our immune systems, increasing our risk of developing allergies and autoimmune diseases?

Clean hands have benefits beyond controlling coronavirus

Infectious diseases specialist Peter Collignon can’t see anything bad about the current spike in attention to our hands. And he’s talking about more than controlling COVID-19.

Research has shown that hand washing can prevent about 30 per cent of diarrhoea-related sickness and about 20 per cent of respiratory infections.

Some scientists go as far as arguing 80 per cent of diseases could be prevented if we all kept our hands clean.

But the impact of grubby hands in spreading disease has long been under-appreciated by the public.
Coronavirus update: Follow all the latest news in our daily wrap.

Studies before the pandemic said as many as 30 per cent of people did not wash their hands at all after using a bathroom and that correct hand washing was practised at such low rates that only 20 per cent of people in airports had clean hands.

But the fact that hand sanitiser was impossible to buy for many weeks and social media sites buzzed with questions about making your own (perhaps using vodka or gin from your drinks cupboard to meet the required alcohol content), suggested COVID-19 had turned our attitudes to our hands around.

It seems our efforts are paying off.

Not only have we had success in “flattening the curve”, there is now “good evidence” from GP reports and laboratory assessments that there’s been a 70 per cent drop in colds and flu-like illnesses since the pandemic began, Professor Collignon says.

While it’s hard to separate the effects of physical distancing, cleaner hands would certainly have contributed to this.

“You see a lot more hand rub everywhere you go. Overall I think people’s behaviour.. has improved quite markedly.”

In the past it was easy to dismiss the idea grubby hands spread germs, he says.

People thought “oh well maybe [hand washing] works, but I’m not convinced” or “the common cold and even the flu is trivial for me, so it doesn’t matter”.

But it’s since become clear that not only can COVID-19 kill, it can also cause profound and often lasting damage from one end of the body to the other.

Self-interest can be a powerful motivator and “here is a disease you don’t want to get”, Professor Collignon says.

“If you [practise] hand hygiene, you decrease remarkably the chance of inoculating yourself.”

That’s because one of the key ways COVID-19 spreads is as droplets, which you can easily pick up on your hands from surfaces contaminated when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

If you then touch your eyes, nose or mouth, virus can easily latch onto cells and multiply. It can then be inhaled into your airways or possibly even make its way around the body by passing from the inside of one infected cell to another.

Washing your hands with soap and water not only breaks up the virus, it also washes it away.

So long as you don’t have clumps of dirt or other material that could harbour hidden virus particles, a sanitiser that contains at least 60 per cent alcohol, will also destroy the virus.

There’s a good chance our changed behaviour around hand washing will become entrenched, because living with the threat of COVID-19 has become the new normal, Professor Collignon says.

“The reality is this virus isn’t going to go away soon,” he says.

“We’ve got this problem for at least a year-and-a-half or two years and that’s on the proviso a vaccine comes that is safe and effective.

“But no vaccine is 100 per cent perfect, so even vaccination doesn’t make the risk go away completely.

“I think we might see a sustained drop in lots of respiratory transmissions.”

Isn’t a bit of dirt good for your immune system?

But plenty of us have heard the notion being too clean can cause your immune system to stop working properly.

It’s thought this might result in conditions like autoimmune diseases and allergies.

So as we diligently wash and dissolve away the new coronavirus from our hands, could we also be wiping out a host of other microbes that we actually need to keep us healthy?

The notion that exposure to certain bacteria, fungi and other micro-organisms in our environment may be important in ‘training’ our immune systems is known as “the hygiene hypothesis”.

But evidence to support this idea is limited.

In any case, the bugs that seem to matter are mostly those from the gut of our mothers passed to us as babies, along with organisms from the natural environment, not the germs that cause serious infections.

Early research suggested infections in childhood were important, but later work showed this wasn’t the case.

The short story is we have much more to gain than to lose by paying good attention to hand hygiene, Professor Collignon says.

“I don’t think there’s good evidence if you’re more hygienic with your hands, you’re going to have more autoimmune diseases. Even if you are, that [drawback] would be more than offset by having less of the diseases that can kill you in a hurry,” he says.

“The hygiene hypothesis is just that — a hypothesis. Whereas there is no doubt COVID and typhoid and cholera can kill you and you want to avoid them.

“Washing your hands is a great way to help do that.”

There is even evidence that bacteria that are “good” for us are better than other types of bacteria at sticking to the skin of your hands when you wash them with soap and water.

“So basically the bugs that are better for you are less likely to wash down the drain.”

We’re good at hand-washing… for a while

Marylouise McLaws, who has been involved in many studies of hand hygiene, agrees the current pandemic has been a turning point in attitudes, but says it’s common in outbreaks for there to be an initial surge in interest in hand washing. This often subsides when the threat passes.

Her studies of compliance with hand hygiene among health care workers suggest they do the right thing only on average around half the time, with nurses more diligent than doctors.

But both have been shown to perform better when being watched by human auditors compared to remote monitoring based on use of a hand washing station.

Lack of knowledge isn’t the problem, it’s more that doctors and nurses “get busy thinking about other things,” says Professor McLaws, from the University of NSW.

If healthcare workers can manage to do the right thing only about half the time, she’s not so confident the general public will do better.

“The general public don’t see a lot of disease in our community. Only 44 per cent of people get a flu vaccine,” she says.

While Professor Collignon concedes changing any behaviour long term is difficult, he says we need only look at the success of quit smoking and drink driving campaigns to see what is possible.

“There are behaviours you wouldn’t think you’d be able to change, that with time, you can.”

How to wash your hands: a refresher

So do your best to make hand washing a lasting habit.

To reduce the risk of drying out your skin, wet your hands before applying the soap, Professor McLaws says.

Soap that is too concentrated or is not washed away properly can be a problem, she says.

And if you use alcohol-based rub, don’t use soap and water straight afterwards because the alcohol makes your skin more ‘penetrable’ by the soap, and therefore more prone to drying out.

“Once you’ve sanitised, you don’t need to wash your hands until your next hand hygiene.”

By Cathy Johnson
Published at ABC Health & Wellbeing

Physical distancing and good hand hygiene: Australian flu cases drop by more than 99%

There were only 208 laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza nationwide last month – compared to 30,567 at the same time in 2019.
The major disparity follows a trend that has seen a massive decrease in cases since social distancing measures were implemented across Australia in response to the coronavirus.

In the first two months of 2020, Australia was on track to surpass its record-breaking start to 2019, before cases essentially halved in March compared with the same time last year. This was followed by an even more dramatic 98% drop in April, when only 307 laboratory-confirmed cases were recorded compared to 18,691 in the corresponding period in 2019.

Dr Kerry Hancock, Chair of the RACGP Specific Interests Respiratory Medicine network, told newsGP she was ‘incredibly surprised’ by the results and described the fall in cases as ‘dramatic’.

‘We’re seeing now in the influenza statistics the impact that [good hygiene and social distancing] can have in reducing transmission,’ she said.

‘It just tells us the value of physically distancing, good hand hygiene, avoiding mass gatherings [when sick], cough etiquette and being aware of all those other strategies to avoid the transmission of infectious diseases.

‘Maybe it’s not the way we want to spend our lives – not being able to attend concerts and the movies and gather in crowds – but it certainly shows that we can make a difference by at least implementing some of these strategies [in the longer term].

‘Once again, Australia can be really proud of the fact that we’ve done what we’ve been told to do with regard to COVID-19.’

The drop in laboratory-confirmed flu cases is matched by data in the FluTracking surveillance system, which uses crowd-sourced information from upwards of 70,000 people each week who report whether or not they are experiencing flu-like symptoms.

The most recent report, from the week ending 31 May, found flu-like illness activity in Australia is ‘historically low’, with only 0.38% of respondents having a fever and cough. It also shows almost identical rates of flu-like symptoms between those who have been vaccinated and those who have not.

Dr Evan Ackermann, past Chair of the RACGP Expert Committee – Quality Care (REC–QC), told newsGP the trend seems to support findings from the Cochrane Reviews, which stress the importance of good hygiene in limiting the spread of influenza.

‘We always used to say it but now people are living it,’ he said.

‘People in public places are not only washing their hands, but they’re quarantining when sick, and many are using a face mask when in public. It really is something that I hope is going to lead to some long-term behavioural change.

‘The vaccine doesn’t last that long – it produces an immunological response but that wanes over time. What these figures suggest is that these non-drug interventions do work.’

Dr Ackermann also said it is an important reminder to educate patients on the value of hygiene when it comes to protecting themselves against viral infection.

‘For the majority of the population, improved personal hygiene options are more likely to be effective than just receiving a flu vaccine,’ he said.

‘This has important implications in how we advise and educate our patients. The evidence suggests promoting other measures may be more beneficial among low-risk populations.’

By Matt Woodley
Published 05 Jun 2020

Why Americans are tiring of social distancing and hand-washing – 2 behavioral scientists explain

States are beginning to open up their economies after successfully slowing the spread of the coronavirus. Much of the credit for that goes to Americans dutifully following prescribed behavior.

People have been washing their hands frequently, maintaining physical distance from others, wearing face masks, sanitizing door knobs and even disinfecting food and packages brought into the house.

But in order to continue to contain the spread of the virus, we’ll still need to sustain these behaviors for weeks and maybe months to come. Will people be able to maintain their vigilance over time?

As scholars who study health-related behavior change, we’re skeptical. While continuing to wash your hands and stay six feet away from others doesn’t seem so hard for an individual, the problem is that people are unable to “see” the benefits of their actions – and thus often don’t recognize just how important they are.

As a result, adherence to these protective behaviors could wane over time without policies designed to sustain them.

Intangible benefits

It is, in fact, remarkable to us that efforts to promote hygiene measures have been as successful as they have been. That’s because they are almost the embodiment of the types of protective measures that people are especially bad at taking.

The most obvious reasons are that maintaining physical distances and constantly washing hands are inconvenient and require constant vigilance. The costs of these behaviors are immediate, but the benefits are delayed.

A more subtle and equally important reason, however, is that the benefits are intangible: You can’t touch, taste, feel or see the benefits of, for example, wiping off your door knob.

One reason the benefits are intangible is that people tend to be insensitive to even dramatic changes in probabilities – such as from one-in-a-thousand chance to one-in-a-million chance – when it comes to small probability events such as the chance of contracting coronavirus.

This is true unless the change in probability leads to certainty that the event will not occur, which is why people are not eager to engage in preventive behaviors unless they completely eliminate the risk, as research by psychologists has shown.

For example, one study found that people were willing to pay much more to reduce a pesticide risk from 5 in 10,000 to 0 in 10,000 than from 15 in 10,000 to 10 in 10,000, even though the actual reduction in risk was identical. A similar study concluded that people were more attracted to a vaccine said to entirely eliminate a 10% risk for a disease than to one that reduced the risk from 20% to 10%. And a third one found that a vaccine described as 100% effective in preventing 70% of known cases of a disease was more appealing than one that was 70% effective in preventing all cases even though both would have the same net effect.

Even if we follow all recommendations about sheltering in place, washing hands, wearing masks and disinfecting grocery deliveries, we can only reduce and not eliminate the chance of catching COVID-19.

Will people continue to feel that it’s really worth it to sanitize all those plastic bags from the supermarket if the only effect is to reduce the odds from, say, 1 in 2,000 to 1 in 3,000?

Invisible impact

Another reason the benefits of prevention seem intangible is that we don’t get useful feedback about the effects of our actions.

The microbes are invisible, so we have no idea whether we had them before we washed our hands or have gotten rid of them after we have done so.

In addition, we get no feedback about how a particular protective action has changed our probability of getting infected. If all of our actions work, the outcome is that we don’t get sick. But not being sick was the state we were in before we took those actions. Thus, it seems as if the preventive actions caused nothing to happen because we can’t see the negative outcome that might have happened if we hadn’t been so vigilant.

Documenting such a pattern, studies of treatment for depression have found that many patients skip or discontinue taking antidepressants as soon as their symptoms improve, leading to relapse.

The same is likely true at a societal level. If all the sacrifices people are making pay off in the form of lower infection rates, people will point to those low rates as evidence that the sacrifices weren’t actually necessary. Such a pattern has been documented among anti-vaxxers, who claim that low rates of diseases that are vaccinated against are evidence that the vaccine wasn’t needed in the first place.

When one is healthy, it is very difficult to imagine being sick – even when one has been sick in the past. This probably has something to do with low rates of adherence to lifesaving medications.

For example, one year after hospitalization for a heart attack, nearly half of patients prescribed statins stop taking them. And rates of medication adherence for acute diabetics are similarly dismal.

In both cases, people who are healthy – or even those who are sick but not experiencing immediate symptoms – don’t appear to appreciate the risks of failing to protect themselves.

Constant vigilance

So how can we sustain vigilance in the face of pervasive intangibility?

We could remind ourselves that life rarely offers certainty, and behaviors that reduce risk significantly are worth continuing even if they don’t eliminate it altogether. Or we could try to keep in mind those who have been hospitalized or even killed by COVID-19 – a fate that could befall any of us.

Realistically, however, neither of these approaches is likely to have much traction due to the intangibility of the effects of preventive behaviors. And so the best policies are those that eliminate the need for individual decision-making altogether, such as when stores ensure grocery carts and public spaces are kept well sanitized.

As for policymakers, they could compel companies to maintain these measures as a condition of being open. And they could design regulations that require people to continue to wear face masks in public or don gloves when entering public buildings, while lightly punishing those who don’t comply. Small penalties can have a huge impact on behavior.

The longer these behaviors are maintained, the more likely it is that they’ll become habitual, overcoming the problem of their benefits being intangible. And society will be able to get back to some semblance of normal while keeping the lid on the coronavirus.

By Mr. Edwyne Fernandes
Published May 31, 2020

This is an updated version of an article originally published on April 20, 2020.

Global Hand Hygiene Monitoring System Market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 9.8% over the Forecast Period, Owing to Growing Popularity of Digital Solutions, says Absolute Markets Insights

Hand Hygiene monitoring system market is witnessing lucrative growth opportunities and is driven by the new age technological solutions. The digital age has revolutionized the conventional practices of Hygiene. New age solutions such Internet of Things (IoT), cloud, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and others have facilitated real time monitoring and controlling the Hygiene compliance of healthcare facilities, and other governmental and non-governmental facilities. The automatic and electronically operated hand Hygiene monitoring devices have enabled in overcoming the drawbacks associated with conventional systems such as inaccurate monitoring and wastage of resources in terms of time and labour, and combined the advantages of digital technologies such as IoT and cloud to further enhance the operability of these solutions. Companies including Logi-Tag Systems, manufacturer of IoT based solutions, has introduced RFID based platform for tracking and monitoring assets and ensure staff hand Hygiene. In other such instances, companies such as 9Solutions and AiRISTA Flow have launched SaaS solutions for hand Hygiene monitoring. Owing to the rise in patients with infectious diseases such as COVID-19, these solutions with cutting-edge digital technologies have assisted in complying with Hygiene standards and thus propelling the growth of global hand Hygiene monitoring system market.

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Another such technology which has potential future applications in hand Hygiene monitoring systems is Artificial Intelligence (AI). The AI technology not only has possible implications in enhancing the effectiveness of hand Hygiene compliance systems but also to analyse the data obtained from these systems. Leading global universities, including Stanford University are researching on intelligent hand Hygiene monitoring systems in partnership with healthcare providers. This research focuses on dispenser usage detection, physical space analytics and privacy safe assessment. Under this research, researchers are using information obtained from cameras to build computer algorithms to track hand Hygiene activities. Meanwhile, Wobot Intelligence, an Indian provider of AI powered video analytics, has developed AI based Hygiene tracking solution. The solution from the company assists hospitals, commercial offices, hospitality providers and others to use their CCTV cameras along with a plug and play software to track hand-wash activity. Introduction of such solutions with a broader scope of end users and ease of use is anticipated to boost the growth of global hand Hygiene monitoring system market exponentially over forecast years.

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In terms of revenue, global hand Hygiene monitoring system market was valued at US$ 3850.6 Mn in 2018 and is anticipated to reach US$ 9701.9 Mn in 2027, growing at a CAGR of 9.8% over the forecast period. The study analyses the market in terms of revenue across all the major regions, which have been bifurcated into countries.

The detailed research study provides qualitative and quantitative analysis of hand Hygiene monitoring system market. The market has been analyzed from demand as well as supply side. The demand side analysis covers market revenue across regions and further across all the major countries. The supply side analysis covers the major market players and their regional and global presence and strategies. The geographical analysis done emphasizes on each of the major countries across North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa and Latin America.

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Key Findings of the Report:

The global hand Hygiene monitoring system market was valued at US$ 3850.6 Mn in 2018 and is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 9.8% over the forecast period owing to digital solutions such as IoT, AI and others.
Hospitals held the maximum share in the global hand Hygiene monitoring system market in 2018 owing to mandatory compliance of regulatory guidelines.

Hardware Devices accounted for largest share in the global hand Hygiene monitoring system market in 2018 owing to rise in demand from hospitals and hospitality providers amongst others.
North America held the highest market share in global hand Hygiene monitoring system market in 2018. Asia Pacific is expected to grow at the highest CAGR over the forecast period owing to the expanding medical infrastructure.
Some of the players operating in the hand Hygiene monitoring system market are CenTrak, Proventix, Ecolab, BioVigil Healthcare Systems, Inc., STANLEY Healthcare, Midmark Corporation, HandGiene Corp, Deb Group and GOJO Industries, Inc. amongst others.

Global Hand Hygiene Monitoring System Market:

By End User
• Hospitals
• Health Clinics
• Ambulatory Surgery Centers
• Dialysis Centers
• Hospitality
• Veterinary
• Others

By Type
• Devices: Portable, Wall Mounted
• Software Solution & Services

By Region
• North America: U.S, Canada, Mexico, Rest of North America
• Europe: France, The UK, Spain, Germany, Italy. Nordic Countries: Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Sweden, Norway. Benelux Union: Belgium, The Netherlands, Luxembourg. Rest of Europe
• Asia Pacific: China, Japan, India, New Zealand, Australia, South Korea. Southeast Asia: Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Rest of Southeast Asia.  Rest of Asia Pacific
• Middle East and Africa: Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, Kuwait, South Africa, Rest of Middle East & Africa
• Latin America: Brazil, Argentina, Rest of Latin America

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Published On 25 May 2020 01:03 AM

How better home hygiene could curb antibiotic resistance

Pharmacologists and infectious disease specialists say there is an urgent need to promote good hygiene in the home and in community settings. They believe that this will be essential in reducing antibiotic use and preventing the spread of drug-resistant bacteria in the coming years.

Rates of resistance to commonly used antibiotics have already reached 40–60% in some countries outside the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and are set to continue rising fast.

In OECD countries, rates of resistance could reach nearly 1 in 5 (or 18%) by 2030 for eight different bacterium-antibiotic combinations.

By 2050, about 10 million people could die each year as a result of resistance to antimicrobial agents.

While policymakers usually focus on hygiene in healthcare settings, such as hospitals, a group of pharmacology and infectious disease experts believes that improved hygiene in homes and community settings is just as important.

The scientists have published a position paper in the American Journal of Infection Control on behalf of the Global Hygiene Council.

“Although global and national [antimicrobial resistance] action plans are in place,” they write, “infection prevention and control is primarily discussed in the context of healthcare facilities with home and everyday life settings barely addressed.”

They have also launched a manifesto that calls on health policymakers to recognize the importance of this topic.

‘More urgent than ever’

Simple hygiene measures, such as hand washing, can help reduce infections and antibiotic use, the authors argue. In turn, this will minimize the development of resistance.

“In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic and evidence presented in this paper, it is more urgent than ever for policymakers to recognize the role of community hygiene to minimize the spread of infections, which, in turn, will help in reducing the consumption of antibiotics and help the fight against [antimicrobial resistance],” says lead author Prof. Jean-Yves Maillard from the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at Cardiff University in the United Kingdom.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimate that 35% of common infections are already resistant to currently available medicines, with this figure rising to 80–90% in some low and middle income countries.

Overuse of the drugs accelerates the development of resistance. In the United States, for example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that of the 80–90% of antibiotic use that occurs outside hospitals, about half is inappropriate or unnecessary.

The authors point out that while the majority of bacteria that are multidrug-resistant (resistant to at least one agent in three or more antimicrobial classes) get picked up in hospitals, some have become prevalent in the community.

Patients leaving the hospital can carry methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) on their skin, for example, or resistant strains of enterobacteria in their gut. Resistant bacteria can then pass to other family members.

The authors write:

“Although the precise impact of hygiene on transmission of infection between community and healthcare settings needs further investigation, it is important to recognize that reducing the need for antibiotic prescribing and the circulation of [antimicrobial-resistant] strains in healthcare settings cannot be achieved without also reducing circulation of infections and [resistant] strains in the community. We cannot allow hygiene in home and everyday life settings to become the weak link in the chain.”


Hand washing is a crucial measure

They argue that better hand hygiene would prevent many infections in the home and in community settings, such as schools, nurseries, and workplaces.

Only about 19% of people wash their hands after using the toilet, according to a review of research that the paper cites. The same review found that hand washing reduces the risk of diarrhea by nearly one-quarter (23%) in studies with good methodological design.

Educating people to wash their hands with ordinary soap is one of the best ways to reduce infections, according to experts. Overall, research has shown that improvements in hand hygiene lead to a 21% reduction in respiratory illnesses and a 31% reduction in gastrointestinal illnesses.

In addition, the position paper highlights the problem of foodborne pathogens, including Salmonella, Campylobacter, and Escherichia coli. These affect millions of people globally every year, causing diarrhea and other debilitating symptoms.

A 2014 study in Mexico found Salmonella in almost all cleaning cloths. Soaking these dish clothes in a 2% solution of bleach twice a day reduced the bacteria by 98%.

Key risks and strategies

The authors identify key risk moments for transmitting infections in the home. These are:

• food handling, including contaminated chopping boards and kitchen sponges
• using the toilet
• changing a baby’s diaper
• coughing, sneezing, and nose blowing
• touching surfaces that others frequently touch
• handling and laundering clothing and household linen
caring for domestic animals
• disposing of refuse
• caring for an infected family member

As key strategies to combat infection in the home, they recommend:

• soap or detergent-based cleaning together with adequate rinsing
• alcohol-based hand sanitizer
• inactivation or eradication using a disinfectant on hard surfaces
• mechanical removal using dry wiping
• heating to at least 60°C (140°F)
• UV treatment
• a combination of the above

However, they note that further research is necessary to evaluate the extent to which these practices might contribute to preventing the transmission of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria.


Written by James Kingsland on May 25, 2020 – Fact checked by Hilary Guite, FFPH, MRCGP