Materia Medica Malaysiana

January 11, 2008

Basic hygiene still a challenge

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 11:57 am

Star: PUTRAJAYA: Basic hand hygiene by healthcare providers remains a challenge for the Health Ministry.
“How many wash their hands after seeing a patient?” Health Ministry director-general Tan Sri Dr Ismail Merican asked.
He said that while the ministry worked hard through the infection control committee to get hospital staff to adhere to policies and procedures, the simple act of keeping their hands clean remained a big challenge.
But past initiatives have seen the national pneumococcal infection rate reduced from 5.44% in March 2004 to 3.39% last September.
The ministry spent RM1mil in 2006 to provide “alcohol-based hand rub” in critical areas including the emergency department, haemodialysis department and intensive care unit.
The allocation was increased to RM2.5mil last year.
“We need to spend more money to get the hand rubs available to everyone,” Dr Ismail said.
About 1.9 million patients are admitted to government hospitals yearly while some 50 million are treated at the outpatient department.
Dr Ismail, a consultant hepatologist by profession, added that he would clean his hands with alcohol after he sees patients.
“This has to be done every time you see a patient,” he said.
The ministry is also a signatory to the World Health Organisation Alliance on Infection Control.

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