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A Big Thumbs Up for Clean Hands Campaign 23 March 2007

The Department of Health and Social Security’s Public Health Directorate has launched a campaign called ‘Thumbs Up’ for clean hands. It includes a series of roadshows attended by members of the public across the Island.

Dr Kishore explained,

“Hand hygiene is a simple habit that needs to be part of daily living for everyone; it requires little training and no specialised equipment, yet it is the simplest way to prevent people becoming sick.”

The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness of the importance of hand hygiene, urging people to wash and dry their hands regularly to help prevent the spread of communicable infections such as common cold and Influenza. The campaign is part of the communications plan, which the Public Health Directorate has developed in preparation for an expected Influenza pandemic.

Health care professionals have been visiting locations Island-wide explaining the importance of hand hygiene and stressing that regular and proper hand washing can have a significant affect on preventing serious infections. People were given the opportunity to see how easy it is to transfer germs onto surfaces and then onto other people by indirect contact. This can occur by coughing into the hands instead of a tissue and transferring the germs onto the handles of a shopping basket.

The next phase of the campaign will target hand washing in schools across the Island. A series of activities are planned in the next few months, including hand hygiene awareness events, a hand washing song competition and an audit of hand hygiene facilities in schools.

Information posters and leaflets are being distributed to GP Surgeries, Nursing and Residential Homes, supermarkets, restaurants and in public places in order to get the hand washing message right across the Island. Posters are available by contacting the Public Health Directorate on 642688.

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