(MENAFN - Jordan Times) Hand washing is one of the major practices for preventing the spread of pathogens, a local health expert said on Sunday.
Approximately 5 per cent to 15 per cent of hospitalised patients in Jordan acquire infections while they are in hospital, and this infection is caused by germs transmitted through touching patients, Ruba Abed, head of the infection control unit at Prince Hamzah Hospital, told The Jordan Times over the phone.
She noted that although the percentage of hospital-acquired infection in Jordan is similar to the international ratio, efforts should be exerted to create more public awareness about the importance of hand washing to reduce this figure.
Abed explained that hospital-acquired infection also leads to prolonging a patient's stay in hospital, in addition to increasing the use of antibiotics and financial burdens.
Currently, 10 in 100 hospitalised patients in developing countries and seven in 100 in developed countries will acquire healthcare-associated infections, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), which marked the "Save Lives: Clean your hands" campaign on May 5.
Launched in 2009, the global annual campaign is a day in which WHO is committed to "bringing people together to improve and sustain hand hygiene".
Many of the germs causing infections in hospitals are transferred by hands, when healthcare providers or visitors touch the patient while providing assistance, the WHO website said.
"Most healthcare-associated infections are preventable through good hand hygiene - healthcare workers cleaning hands, at the right times and in the right way," it added.
Hand washing with soap is also the most effective and inexpensive way to prevent diarrheal and acute respiratory infections, which take the lives of millions of children in developing countries every year, according to the Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing (http://www.globalhandwashingday.org), which created Global Hand Washing Day in 2008 to foster and support a global culture of hand washing with soap.
"Together, they are responsible for the majority of all child deaths. Yet, despite its lifesaving potential, hand washing with soap is seldom practised and difficult to promote," the partnership said on its website.