By Denis Ejulu
South Sudanese medics and their Chinese counterparts on Thursday got together to popularize the importance of hand hygiene within health facilities in a bid to prevent and control infectious diseases.
The move coincided on May 5, the day the World Health Organization (WHO) declared World Hygiene Day across the globe.
Mario Dumba, theater attendant in Juba Teaching Hospital, hailed members of the ninth batch of the Chinese medical team for using the day to sensitize medical staff and patients on the importance of hand washing,
“We have now days COVID-19 which is now affecting people, so if you don’t wash your hands it means you cannot protect yourself, and for us in the theater before any operation is conducted you must wash your hands because without washing hands it means you cannot do any operation,” he told Juba Echo in Juba, the capital of South Sudan.
Jiang Shijun, nurse with the Chinese medical team who oversaw the sensitization exercise in the main referral hospital, said the event aimed at emphasizing to her South Sudanese colleagues on the importance of improving hand hygiene of medical staff and also prevent nosocomial infection.
“Hand hygiene has finally been recognized by global decision makers, medical managers, medical staff and the public, it has become the cornerstone of infection prevention and control,” said Jiang.
Nosocomial infections, also called hospital-acquired infections, are a subset of infectious diseases acquired in a health care facility.
World hand hygiene day was initiated by the WHO in 2009.
This year’s theme is focused on recognizing the culture of safety and quality through cleaning of hands.
It adds that strong quality and safety culture will encourage people to clean hands at the right times and with the right products.
Jacob Pitia, Physiotherapist in Juba Teaching Hospital, said he recognizes the importance of hand hygiene, saying it has helped him prevent infecting his patients. “When you touch anything or patients you have to wash your hands like now we are here working on a patient, hand washing is very important especially in a health facility since we get in contact with many patients on daily basis,” said Pitia.
“We are very grateful for the day and we thank the Chinese who came to introduce this to us because safety in the laboratory is top priority, without safety we are going to do nothing in the laboratory,” said Achiro.
The Chinese medical team also donated hand sanitizers and liquid soap to several departments within Juba Teaching Hospital.
Successive batch of Chinese medical doctors have been treating patients and also training local doctors over the years since the independence of South Sudan in 2011.