Infection Control through Hand Hygiene – Research Proposal

Purpose Statement

            The purpose of this report is to highlight the importance of hand hygiene as a way of controlling transmission of pathogenic infections. Interactive educational programmes are effective in increased hand hygiene.

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Problem Statement

            There is a significant concern regarding infections that circulate in homes and the community. The threat of the infectious diseases is projected to increase in the coming years owing to environmental, demographic and health care trends. The changing demographic factors in the community and the constantly changing nature of the infection causing pathogens will affect the resistance towards the infections in the coming years. It is for these reasons that the paper proposes a mechanism for improving hygiene as a strategy of controlling the pathogenic infections in our community.

Scope of the Project

            This paper seeks to empower the community population on the importance and strategies of improving hand hygiene. The advocacy programme that the paper proposes will educate the community on the need to control infectious diseases, elucidate on the hand hygiene strategies and why this is important for their health and prevention of the evolution of the disease causing pathogens. 

Infection Control Through Hand Hygiene

            The strategy of hand hygiene has been found to be one of the most effective forms of infection control. According to (Mathur, 2011) the spread of infectious diseases has increasingly drawn the attention of the government, nongovernmental bodies and community based organizations. (Bloomfield, Aiello, Cookson, O’Boyle, & Larson, 2007) also notes that the advance in medicine and public health were met with premise of total eradication of infectious diseases, which unfortunately has not been the case.

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            The community population consists of people of diverse races, occupation, age and educational levels. The rates of infections among the less education people are high compared to those who are highly educated. School going children are more likely to suffer from respiratory tract infections due to contact with surfaces, toilets and food substances (Bloomfield, Aiello, Cookson, O’Boyle, & Larson, 2007). Moreover, people in occupational activities such as healthcare and farming are at the risk of contacting infectious diseases.

The control of infectious diseases is costly and yet this major source of concern can be prevented. The healthcare costs in the United States have been on the rise, which makes it important that these infectious diseases be prevented before their spread. The common knowledge is that prevention is better than cure. Through prevention strategies, the morbidity, mortality and costs of treatment associated with infectious diseases can be reduced.

            The community offers a platform where people come in contact with one another, through hands. Hand hygiene in such non-clinical setting has been found as one of the most effective strategies for the prevention of infectious diseases (Babeluk, Jutz, Mertlitz, Matiasek, & Klaus, 2014). The authors further points that simple hand washing is likely to save over a million lives in a year. Consequently, hand washing should become an educational priority in the community setting, as a strategy for preventing infectious diseases.

            Hand hygiene can be done using water and soap or alternatively using hand-based hand rub. In addition, hands should be dried using a dry clean towel. In addition, (Bloomfield, Aiello, Cookson, O’Boyle, & Larson, 2007) points to the need to look at hygiene in the view of food hygiene and environmental hygiene in addition to personal hygiene (hands hygiene). The general environment, which includes surfaces, toilets and hand basins, contact with domestic animals, increase risks of infections. The authors provide a holistic approach in hygiene, while noting that most of these other agents involve hand contact at some point or another.

Proposed Procedure

            The hand hygiene educational program shall be done among the community population. The educational program shall be led by trained healthcare workers, who will teach the locals on the hand washing procedure. The paper proposes a six-step process adopted by WHO in hand hygiene. According to WHO, the use of soap with clean water in a six step process is effective in killing germs (Chai, 2016). The following process is proposed.

  • Wet the hands using dollop of soap.
  • Rub the palm of the fingers when closed, then when interlaced.
  • Move the palm of the right arm over the dorsum of the left arm with interlaced palms and rub in between the fingers.
  • Interlock the fingers and rub the back of them by turning the wrist in a circle.
  • Clasp the left thumb in the right palm and rub in rotational motion, from the finger tips to the end of the thumb. Switch the hands.
  • Scrub inside of the right hand with the left fingers closed. Rinse the hands with clean water and dry them with clean dry one-person towel.

Budget

            Hand hygiene education programme is community health campaign programme. The success of the project depends on the effectiveness of awareness created among the local population. The local people shall be informed about the project through print and electronic media, mainly the local radio station and local media publications. The educational program shall be done through a mix of electronic and verbal means. The laptop and projector will be useful in showing the actual hand washing process, while the stationery like pen and paper shall facilitate the teaching process. In addition, other program requirements include lunch and travel expenses for the facilitators. A summary of the items is given in the table below.

ItemCost
Stationery$500
Laptop and projector$1400
Banners$1250
Radio and other local media advertisement$3000
Others (lunch, travel)$1000
Total$7150

Task Schedule

            The hand hygiene program shall be a five-day program that shall be conducted in the local halls and school, local church and college visits. The main reason why the program will employ these venues is to attract both young children and the older members of the community. The schools provide a good opportunity for encouraging young children to adopt hand hygiene and reduce possible absenteeism that may arise from infectious illness such as respiratory tract infections that are caused by poor hand hygiene. The following is the task schedule.

DayEventVenue
1Educate locals  about hand hygieneLocal church
2Hand hygiene and strategiesLocal school
3The importance and strategies of hand hygieneLocal community hall
4Importance and methods used in hand hygieneLocal college hall
5Teaching on why it is important to maintain hand hygieneLocal university hall

Qualifications

            I have extensive knowledge on public health gained through class and personal research. I hold a degree in healthcare with strong background on infectious diseases.

Conclusion

            Hand washing education should be made a priority among the children and adult. The nature of occupations and changing healthcare and demographic trends placed the community population at greater risk of infectious diseases. The use of simple hand washing procedure is the best way of preventing such infections.

Recommendations

            The report recommends that hand washing should be made an educational priority. The nature of occupations and demographic changes exposes everybody to the risk of infectious diseases. Treating such diseases can be costly and may affect the health and education of school-going children. However, these infections can be prevented through effective hand hygiene as proposed in this report. The implementation of the report will go a long way in ensuring a healthy society, which is in line with state and government policy of improving the health standards of the citizens. Moreover, the program intends to reduce the number of infections from occurring in future, thus reducing the costs of treatment.

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