Washing Hands – More Important than Vaccines?

In spite of knowledge as old as four thousand years people still resist washing their hands. Finally the 2008 was declared the International Year of Sanitation and Global Handwashing Day was launched. It is now observed annually on October 15th. It has been shown that washing hands routinely after sneezing or wiping the nose, before and after eating, and after using the toilet could save more lives than any single vaccine or medical discovery. Yet in 2009, surveys showed that some medical staff were still not washing their hands enough so campaigns circulated in hospitals along with alcohol-based sanitizers which were placed around conveniently to encourage use. I can imagine the frown on Joseph Lister’s face if he could witness such lack of respect for his effort to prove that antiseptic surgery was a necessary practice without exception. Meg

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