Experts explain why strict hand hygiene couldn’t be sustained

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT |

With the zeal of hand washing going down months into coronavirus disease transmission in the country, experts have stated that it was inevitable as people were only acting in shock following announcements of a strange killer disease.

Hand hygiene alone is touted as having the ability to keep away many pathogens including the previous coronaviruses that have affected other countries and the COVID-19 pandemic. Even before the the virus was confirmed in the country, many people including politicians and religious leaders came out to demonstrate how proper handwashing is done.

Around that time, the Ministry of Health said that the percentage of those that wash hands that has always staggered around 30 percent had increased to slightly above 50 percent. Now, experts worry that we have gone steps back even as the virus continues to transmit with the country having over 700 infections currently.

Dr Richard Mugambe, a lecturer in Makerere University’s Department of Disease Control and Environmental Health says that sustaining hand hygiene would have been possible if implementer’s of the initiative adopted a behavioral model to strategize on how this behavior that’s not deeply entrenched in the community continues.

Dr Fredrick Oporia, an epidemiologist and currently a disease control research fellow at Makerere University School of Public Health says that observing how people are washing hands, only a few use the recommended quantities and spend the recommended time of 20 seconds washing their hands.

In public places like markets, business centres and other facilities, notes that at the height of the scare, people had put in place facilities which have only remained as a shield to protect them from enforcement officers.

However, David Katwere Ssemwanga, the Technical Assistant of Uganda Sanitation Fund in the Ministry of Health said that the Ministry has made it mandatory for all households and business premises to have wash facilities although they are still challenged with enforcement something they hoped could be made stronger by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Recognizing that people even in crowded city places have gone back to their past, he said they plan to come up with more stringent measures but only after ensuring that there’s considerable access to safe water for all. He says their interventions have started with health facilities where they are now availing them foot-operated handwashing facilities with funding from UNICEF.

Even in these facilities, he acknowledged that not all have water in place but the plan is to avail them water such that individual facilities can provide themselves soap. But as initial focus on sustainable handwashing facilities goes to health facilities, key crowded places like markets and business areas pose a big risk of infection.

For instance, in Kikuubo, Kampala’s major business hub, one of the administrators Sam Bafirawala Muyomba tells URN that to be able to do some bit of handwashing at the all-time crowded centre, they buy about 60 jerry cans of water at a fee of 500 Shillings each.

He admits they are conducting their handwashing on the principle of something is better than nothing, not as WHO recommends.

By The Independent
Published June 17, 2020
https://www.independent.co.ug


Hand Hygiene As the Coronavirus Pandemic Continues

A dermatologist’s advice – including how to care for over-sanitized hands.

Now more than ever, we’re constantly washing our hands with soap and water or using harsh hand sanitizers. It’s important to know which products are effective at removing viruses and bacteria from your hands and how to care for your skin to minimize irritation.

What products are effective at killing viruses and bacteria?

While many of us like to use fragrant hand soaps and sanitizers, they aren’t ideal for skin health. Even though they’re effective at killing viruses and bacteria on the hands, the fragrance that creates wonderful aromas is irritating to the skin. Fragrance pulls moisture from our skin, making it more dry, sensitive and irritated than it already is. It’s best to opt for fragrance-free products.

When you’re looking at soap ingredients, know that a specific ingredient isn’t needed to be effective. The Food and Drug Administration says there’s no proof that consumer-labeled “anti-bacterial” soap is better at preventing illness or infection than ordinary soap and water. Viruses, in particular COVID-19, are coated with a lipid envelope, and soap dissolves this protective barrier. That makes the virus unstable and less likely to survive – regardless of whether the product is labeled anti-bacterial or not.

The physical act of lathering soap, washing and then rinsing reduces most of the viruses and bacteria on the hands. It doesn’t make a difference if hot or cold running water are used to wash hands. Still, it’s best to use lukewarm water, as water that’s too hot will cause the skin to become drier.

If you’re shopping for hand sanitizer, those with 60% or greater ethyl alcohol disrupt the RNA molecules in the virus, which prevents it from replicating (making copies of itself). Try to stick to fragrance-free options. Although soap and water are more effective at cleaning hands due to the scrubbing action, sanitizer is a good alternative if soap isn’t available. However, if your hands are soiled, sanitizer shouldn’t be used.

How to care for your skin

Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. You cannot overuse moisturizer. When you’re deciding what product to use, look for lotions that are fragrance-free and contain ceramide. That’s an ingredient found in our skin that helps trap water in the skin and maintain the barrier.

Alternatively, if you don’t have or can’t find a ceramide-containing moisturizer, plain petroleum jelly is fine. Oils are less effective at moisturizing the skin, since they sit on the surface and don’t help restore the normal barrier function like ceramide does. If you’re using an over-the-counter moisturizer and it’s not enough to combat dry, irritated skin, see a board-certified dermatologist for other options.

By Shilpi Khetarpal, M.D., Contributor
Shilpi Khetarpal, MD, is a dermatologist at the Cleveland Clinic.
Published June 17, 2020
https://health.usnews.com


Almost half of children not using proper hand hygiene at school

A new survey has revealed that almost half of children aged five to 10 years old are not practising proper hand hygiene by using soap when washing their hands at school.

The survey, conducted by The Global Hygiene Council (GHC), has found how 42% of children are not following proper hand hygiene procedures in school by using soap when they wash their hands. It assessed primary school children’s hygiene awareness and habits across seven countries during COVID-19 and, in all countries, usage of soap was higher at home than in school settings.

Leading hygiene experts are now stressing the importance of effective hand hygiene measures and education in schools as children begin returning to educational settings following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hand hygiene

The survey showed that at schools, less than half of children (44%) said that someone ensures they always wash their hands prior to eating, with the vast majority (71%) stating this happens at home.

Commenting on the survey findings of Infectious Diseases at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis said: “As children slowly begin returning to schools around the world, the focus on improved hygiene should not just be a short-term measure.

“Whilst COVID-19 has increased public awareness of the importance of hand hygiene in stopping the spread of respiratory infections, basic hygiene measures such as handwashing are also essential in preventing the spread of common illnesses including gastrointestinal infections, such as diarrhoea.”

Controlling infections in school settings

The experts emphasised the importance of supplying schools with hand soap, as on average, only 60% of children stated that soap was always available in school settings, with one in 10 stating that soap was never available.

Schools are places where infections can easily spread, and the adoption of a targeted hygiene approach offers a way to maximise protection against this.

A recent paper, published in the American Journal of Infection Control, highlighted that improved everyday hygiene practices, such as hand-washing, reduces the risk of common infections by up to 50% and the need for antibiotics by up to 30%.

Studies in school settings with appropriate hand hygiene, in combination with surface disinfection, have indicated a positive impact on illness rates.

Professor Sally Bloomfield from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine said: “Targeted hygiene means focussing hygiene practices in places and at times – known as ‘risk moments’ – when harmful microbes are most likely to spread. The key risk moments at schools include food handling, using the toilet and touching surfaces frequently touched by others.”

Dr Gandra added: “Whilst the majority of children may know that they should be washing their hands, many are not actually putting it into practice, so there is a clear gap in educating them about the importance of handwashing.”

“It is essential that healthy hygiene habits, such as washing hands for 20 seconds with soap and water, are ingrained into the next generation to help prevent the spread of future outbreaks and to protect families from other common infections.”

Published: 8th July 2020
https://www.healtheuropa.eu


Demand for Hand Sanitizers and Disinfectants Increasing as the Pandemic Concerns Grow

The global hand sanitizer market is projected to grow from USD 1.2 billion in 2019 to USD 2.14 billion by 2027, at a CAGR of 7.5% during the forecast period 2019-2027, according to a report from FiorMarkets. It said that the growing demand for wellness and health products with a rising rate of diseases has increased the demand for hand sanitizer market. Also, increasing awareness about hand hygiene is driving the need of sanitizers. Hand sanitizer plays a considerable role in maintaining hand hygiene. The rising advertisement on social media has exposed people to current trends of hygiene, healthy lifestyle and personal care, which increase the use of hand sanitizers. A unique benefit of using hand sanitizer is that it reduces the risk of respiratory infections and gastrointestinal infection. The demand for hand sanitizers is increasing, with the growing coronavirus crisis rapidly across the globe. With the outbreak of the global pandemic, the need for hand sanitizers has quadrupled and an increase in the overall growth of 16x from December 2019 to March 2020. In addition to this, to prevent the infectious diseases, many people prefer hand sanitizers, further contributing to the growth of the market. Furthermore, an increase in awareness about personal hygiene among the people, driving the growth of the market. However, high usage of hand sanitizer can kill the good bacteria of the human body, which leads to the occurrence of diseases, may hamper the growth of the market.” Active companies in the markets this week include NxGen Brands Inc. (OTCPK: NXGB), The Clorox Company (NYSE: CLX), The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE: PG), iBio, Inc. (NYSE: IBIO), Moderna, Inc. (NASDAQ: MRNA).

The article from FiorMarkets continued: “North America dominated the global hand sanitizer market and valued at USD 420.25 million in the year 2019. The presence of key market player across the region is one of the primary contributors to the growth of the market. High awareness about hygiene among the people, also driving the growth of the market in the North America region. However, with the Covid-19 outbreak, the demand for hand sanitizer has been upsurge, and the region is feeling the shortage of hand sanitizers in the countries such as the U.S. and Canada. Thus, the state governments are pushing the manufacturing companies to boost the production of hand sanitizers in the region. On the other hand, the Asia Pacific region is projected to grow at the highest CAGR of 10.25% over the forecast period. India is experiencing the almost ten-fold demand for hand sanitizers, with increasing cases of coronavirus in the country.

NxGen Brands Inc. (OTCPK: NXGB) BREAKING NEWS: NxGen Brands (NXGB) Newly Added PPE And FDA Registered Cleaning and Disinfectant Product Lines to Its Portfolio – NxGen Brands announces the addition of a full product line of commercial, industrial, and residential cleaning supplies, disinfectants, and sanitizers.

NxGen Brands, Inc newly added line of products consist of proprietary and licensed formulations registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and that follow Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines in their composition and production for human interaction. These products have specific formulations designated for commercial, industrial, and residential markets. Some of the intended markets include bars, restaurants, schools, hotels, casinos, factories, various sectors of the travel industry, and the individual consumer given that NxGen Brands has developed the capability to provide options for purchase orders in a variety of sizes ranging from personal-use product quantity to 300 plus gallon totes.

Angel Burgos, CEO and President of NxGen Brands, commented, “We have been identifying diligently over the course of the past several months to offer the public a new addition to our already existing and popular product lines. This new addition started out with our interest in high end topicals for pain management and condition treatment, which eventually lead to hand sanitizer, and ultimately brought us around full circle to put us where we need to be, and that is at the front line of our customers’ needs. That is why we are now offering, what we anticipate being, a well-received and highly demanded line of health-focused products, which are all manufactured and processed in the USA. Currently we are setting up operations on global sales platforms such as Amazon and Shopify which gives our prod exposure to millions of potential customers with both commercial and private needs. We anticipate that both the marketplace and our shareholders will be thrilled with our innovations and new additions.”

Products included in the commercial, industrial, and residential cleaning supplies, disinfectants, and sanitizers can be seen at our newly updated Corporate Website: www.nxgenbrands.com and for more information or to make bulk purchases, please contact by phone (888) 315-6339 or email sales@nxgenbrands.com.

Other recent developments in the markets include:

The Clorox Company (NYSE: CLX) recently announced that on Monday, Aug. 3, it will host a live audio webcast of a discussion with the investment community about its fourth-quarter and fiscal year 2020 results. The webcast is scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m. PT (1:30 p.m. ET). A replay of the webcast will be available on the company’s website.

The Clorox Company is a leading multinational manufacturer and marketer of consumer and professional products with approximately 8,800 employees worldwide and fiscal year 2019 sales of $6.2 billion. Clorox markets some of the most trusted and recognized consumer brand names, including its namesake bleach and cleaning products; Pine-Sol® cleaners; Liquid-Plumr® clog removers; Poett® home care products; Fresh Step® cat litter; Glad® bags and wraps; Kingsford® charcoal; Hidden Valley® dressings and sauces; Brita® water-filtration products; Burt’s Bees® natural personal care products; RenewLife® digestive health products; and Rainbow Light®, Natural Vitality™ and NeoCell® dietary supplements. The company also markets industry-leading products and technologies for professional customers, including those sold under the CloroxPro™ and Clorox Healthcare® brand names. Nearly 80% of the company’s sales are generated from brands that hold the No. 1 or No. 2 market share positions in their categories.

The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE: PG) recently announced a hygiene education and product donation initiative to help reach the estimated 48 million kids under the age of 121 that are reentering playgrounds, parks, recreational facilities and schools in the U.S. this month. Safeguard will donate $10 million to promote handwashing habits among kids and provide more underserved communities and families with free hygiene products through organizations including Save the Children, Americares, and Feeding America.

With the national surge in demand of hand hygiene products, Safeguard is introducing new hand soaps and sanitizers that wash away bacteria and germs into US retail stores. The brand expects to increase manufacturing capacity to 45,000 liters of hand sanitizer per week once fully operational.

iBio, Inc. (NYSE: IBIO) a biologics contract manufacturing organization and biotechnology company, recently announced that IBM Watson Health has selected iBio to receive 18 months of use of the IBM Clinical Development (ICD) solution, free-of-charge.

IBM Watson Health recently began offering its ICD solution to eligible trial sponsor organizations as part of its efforts to help support the medical community to address the COVID-19 pandemic. IBM Watson Health has received interest in the offering from numerous hospitals, sponsors, contract research organizations and academic institutions, and is currently enabling 15 COVID-19 disease trials.

Moderna, Inc. (NASDAQ: MRNA) a clinical stage biotechnology company pioneering messenger RNA (mRNA) therapeutics and vaccines to create a new generation of transformative medicines for patients, recently announced the publication of an interim analysis of the open-label Phase 1 study of mRNA-1273, its vaccine candidate against COVID-19, in The New England Journal of Medicine. This interim analysis evaluated a two-dose vaccination schedule of mRNA-1273 given 28 days apart across three dose levels (25, 100, 250 µg) in 45 healthy adult participants ages 18-55 years, and reports results through Day 57. Results from participants in the initial dose cohorts who received both vaccinations and were evaluated at pre-specified timepoints reaffirm the positive interim data assessment announced on May 18th and show mRNA-1273 induced rapid and strong immune responses against SARS-CoV-2. The study was led by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

DISCLAIMER: FN Media Group LLC (FNM), which owns and operates FinancialNewsMedia.com and MarketNewsUpdates.com, is a third party publisher and news dissemination service provider, which disseminates electronic information through multiple online media channels. FNM is NOT affiliated in any manner with any company mentioned herein. FNM and its affiliated companies are a news dissemination solutions provider and are NOT a registered broker/dealer/analyst/adviser, holds no investment licenses and may NOT sell, offer to sell or offer to buy any security. FNM’s market updates, news alerts and corporate profiles are NOT a solicitation or recommendation to buy, sell or hold securities. The material in this release is intended to be strictly informational and is NEVER to be construed or interpreted as research material. All readers are strongly urged to perform research and due diligence on their own and consult a licensed financial professional before considering any level of investing in stocks. All material included herein is republished content and details which were previously disseminated by the companies mentioned in this release. FNM is not liable for any investment decisions by its readers or subscribers. Investors are cautioned that they may lose all or a portion of their investment when investing in stocks. For current services performed FNM has been compensated twenty five hundred dollars for news coverage of the current press releases issued by NxGen Brands Inc. by a non-affiliated third party. FNM HOLDS NO SHARES OF ANY COMPANY NAMED IN THIS RELEASE.

This release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended and such forward-looking statements are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. “Forward-looking statements” describe future expectations, plans, results, or strategies and are generally preceded by words such as “may”, “future”, “plan” or “planned”, “will” or “should”, “expected,” “anticipates”, “draft”, “eventually” or “projected”. You are cautioned that such statements are subject to a multitude of risks and uncertainties that could cause future circumstances, events, or results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements, including the risks that actual results may differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, and other risks identified in a company’s annual report on Form 10-K or 10-KSB and other filings made by such company with the Securities and Exchange Commission. You should consider these factors in evaluating the forward-looking statements included herein, and not place undue reliance on such statements. The forward-looking statements in this release are made as of the date hereof and FNM undertakes no obligation to update such statements.

Contact Information:
Media Contact email: editor@financialnewsmedia.com, +1-(561)-325-8757

Published PALM BEACH, Florida, July 16, 2020
https://www.prnewswire.com

SOURCE Financialnewsmedia.com


Astonishing growth in Hand Hygiene Monitoring Market Business Opportunities and Global Industry Analysis by 2026 – Top Companies Halma plc, Yamabiko Corporation, BioVigil Healthcare Systems, Inc., Deb Group Ltd., GOJO Industries, Inc

The research report on the Hand Hygiene Monitoring Market is a deep analysis of the market. This is a latest report, covering the current COVID-19 impact on the market. The pandemic of Coronavirus (COVID-19) has affected every aspect of life globally. This has brought along several changes in market conditions. The rapidly changing market scenario and initial and future assessment of the impact is covered in the report. Experts have studied the historical data and compared it with the changing market situations. The report covers all the necessary information required by new entrants as well as the existing players to gain deeper insight.

Request a Sample Copy of these Reports@ https://www.qyreports.com/request-sample/?report-id=227223

Furthermore, the statistical survey in the report focuses on product specifications, costs, production capacities, marketing channels, and market players. Upstream raw materials, downstream demand analysis, and a list of end-user industries have been studied systematically, along with the suppliers in this market. The product flow and distribution channel have also been presented in this research report.

This report focuses on the top players in global market, like Halma plc, Yamabiko Corporation, BioVigil Healthcare Systems, Inc., Deb Group Ltd., GOJO Industries, Inc., HandGiene Corp., Ecolab, Midmark Corporation, Stanley Black & Decker, Inc., and AiRISTA Flow (Halyard Health).

By Regions:

North America (The US, Canada, and Mexico)
Europe (the UK, Germany, France, and Rest of Europe)
Asia Pacific (China, India, and Rest of Asia Pacific)
Latin America (Brazil and Rest of Latin America)
Middle East & Africa (Saudi Arabia, the UAE, South Africa, and Rest of Middle East & Africa)

Ask for Discount on this Premium Report@ https://www.qyreports.com/ask-for-discount/?report-id=227223

The Hand Hygiene Monitoring Market Report Consists of the Following Points:

The report consists of an overall prospect of the market that helps gain significant insights about the global market.

The Hand Hygiene Monitoring Market has been categorized based on types, applications, and regions. For an in-depth analysis and better understanding of the market, the key segments have been further categorized into sub-segments.

The factors responsible for the growth of the market have been mentioned. This data has been gathered from primary and secondary sources by industry professionals. This provides an in-depth understanding of key segments and their future prospects.

The report analyses the latest developments and the profiles of the leading competitors in the market.

The Hand Hygiene Monitoring Market research report offers an eight-year forecast.

Enquiry Before Buying@ https://www.qyreports.com/enquiry-before-buying/?report-id=227223

In conclusion, the Hand Hygiene Monitoring Market report is a reliable source for accessing the research data that is projected to exponentially accelerate your business. The report provides information such as economic scenarios, benefits, limits, trends, market growth rate, and figures. SWOT analysis is also incorporated in the report along with speculation attainability investigation and venture return investigation.

About QYReports:

We at QYReports, a leading market research report publisher cater to more than 4,000 prestigious clients worldwide meeting their customized research requirements in terms of market data size and its application. Our list of customers include renowned Chinese company’s multinational companies, SME’s and private equity firms. Our business study covers a market size of over 30 industries offering you accurate, in depth and reliable market insight, industry analysis and structure. QYReports specialize in forecasts needed for investing in an and execution of a new project globally and in Chinese markets.

Contact Us:

Name: Jones John

Contact number: +1-510-560-6005
204, Professional Center,
7950 NW 53rd Street, Miami, Florida 33166
sales@qyreports.com
www.qyreports.com

By sales@researchnreports.com
Published: July 12, 2020

https://3wnews.org


Water & Sanitation This WHO-UNICEF Initiative Is Fighting so Everyone Can Wash Their Hands Against COVID-19

Nearly half of the world population can’t wash their hands at home.

Why Global Citizens Should Care

COVID-19 has been called an equaliser, because it doesn’t discriminate based on race, gender, geography, sexuality or religion. Yet, in the months since the World Health Organisation declared coronavirus a pandemic, it’s become increasingly evident that people from marginalised communities and poor countries bear the brunt of the virus due to lack of access to resources, like water and sanitation. You can join us here to take actions to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the world’s most vulnerable communities.

It’s often been said that changing personal behaviour is vital in containing COVID-19: wearing a mask in public, maintaining social distance, and frequently washing hands with soap and clean water.

Yet for 3 billion people globally, access to hygiene is not as simple as turning on a tap, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

That’s 40% of the world population who cannot wash their hands with soap and water in their homes.

The majority are in sub-Saharan Africa, while children and people who live in informal settlements, refugee camps, or conflict areas are most affected by the continent’s lack of clean water and sanitation facilities.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) and UNICEF have recently launched a hand-washing initiative aimed at bringing attention to the plight of people who don’t have access to clean water and are, therefore, unable to protect themselves effectively from COVID-19.

“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,” said the executive directors of UNICEF and WHO, Henrietta Fore and Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, in a joint statement.

The statement added: “According to our [UNICEF and WHO] 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.”

The statement said one billion people are at direct risk of contracting COVID-19 as a result of not having water and soap in their homes, and that almost half of then are children.

However, it’s not only homes that lack access to clean water, the statement added. “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 in health care facilities do not have hand hygiene at points of care,” said the statement.

A report by World Vision revealed that nine out of 10 countries in the world with the worst access to water are African.

These include: Eritrea, where 81% of the population do not have clean drinking water. In Uganda, 61% of the population doesn’t have basic water services. The figures are 61% in Ethiopia, 60% in Somalia, 59% in Angola, 58% in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 58% in Chad, 54% in Niger, and 53% in Mozambique.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed an uncomfortable truth: too many people around the world simply cannot clean their hands,” said the statement.

UNICEF and WHO said they will be working through the initiative with other international partners, national governments, the public and private sectors, and community organisations to ensure that products and services are available and affordable, and to enable a culture of hygiene. This includes ensuring that handwashing stations are accessible, especially in disadvantaged areas and among marginalised communities.

“We must also ramp up investment in hygiene, water and sanitation, and in infection prevention and control,” said the statement. “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.”

You can join us to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the world’s most vulnerable and marginalised communities by taking action here.

By Lerato Mogoatlhe
Published July 2, 2020
https://www.globalcitizen.org


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.”

 

Published


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
https://www.foodsafetynews.com


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.
https://theconversation.com


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

Published: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com