Message of the WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Rebecca Moeti, on the yearly campaign: “Save Lives: clean your hands”

Today, 5 May 2017, we mark the annual global campaign the “SAVE LIVES: Clean your hands”. This initiative led by WHO is aimed at promoting improvements in hand hygiene practices at the point of care with a view to reducing the burden of healthcare associated infections and spread of antimicrobial resistant agents. In fact, a paradigm shift has occurred in our world that cannot be reversed – multidrug resistant pathogens are here to stay – we need to manage these through infection prevention action. Limited information is available on the endemic burden of these infections in Africa, but a recent review reveals that their prevalence, ranging from 2.5 % to 14.8%, is up to twice as high as the average European prevalence (7.1%).

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