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Awareness of proper hand hygiene urged to combat antimicrobial resistance
     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) today (May 4) appealed to healthcare workers (HCWs) and the public for more attention to good hand hygiene to combat increasing antimicrobial resistance (AMR) to tie in with the annual Hand Hygiene Awareness Day on May 5.

     Under the slogan "Fight antibiotic resistance - it's in your hands", the theme adopted by the CHP for this year's hand hygiene promotion campaign echoes the call of the World Health Organization (WHO) to HCWs, "Clean your hands at the right times and stop the spread of antibiotic resistance.

     "AMR is posing increasing threats to global public health. AMR leads to prolonged illness and hospital stays, the use of more aggressive treatment, increased deaths, loss of productivity, and increased healthcare and social costs," a spokesman for the CHP said.

     The CHP has stepped up territory-wide health education and promotion to enhance and sustain good hand hygiene practice among HCWs and the public. Education materials including banners and DVDs on hand hygiene and AMR will be delivered to public and private hospitals and clinics. In addition, hand hygiene teaching kits will be distributed to all kindergartens to reinforce young children's awareness at an early age of building a clean and safe family.

     "We will continue to work closely with the healthcare and education sectors, community partners and relevant bureaux/departments and organisations on hand hygiene promotion activities for all-out efforts to better educate the public about hand hygiene," the spokesman added.

     Maintaining proper hand hygiene has been a key effective prevention and control measure against infections. Since 2005, Hong Kong has pledged support for the first Global Patient Safety Challenge "Clean Care is Safer Care" of the WHO, and has been committed to promoting good hand hygiene to control the spread of infectious diseases. From 2010 onwards, the Hand Hygiene Awareness Day has been marked annually on May 5 in Hong Kong to promote the importance of hand hygiene in both healthcare settings and the community.

     The Government has set up the High-level Steering Committee on AMR to formulate strategies under the "One Health" framework, tackling the threat of AMR to animals, humans and the environment. Its Expert Committee on AMR was tasked to provide practical and scientific advice on developing an action plan for the containment of AMR in Hong Kong tailored to local needs. Good hand hygiene is one of the key control measures to interrupt the route of infection and transmission of drug-resistant organisms.
     The public may visit the CHP's Hand Hygiene Awareness Day page for more information.
Ends/Thursday, May 4, 2017
Issued at HKT 12:13
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