Sofidel promoted “24 hours with your hands”, ten rules (plus one) for a day of hygiene
Created for World Hand Hygiene Day, the rules narrate the day from the perspective of our hands.
Last 5 May was “World Hand Hygiene Day” promoted by the World Health Organization (WHO) since 2009 to improve hand hygiene on a global level: on the occasion, Sofidel promoted “24 hours with your hands”, ten (plus one) intriguing and sometimes surprising rules, for reflecting on the importance of hygiene in the various moments of our day and places we find ourselves as we progress through the hours of the day.
“24 hours with your hands” was created with the scientific advice of Prof. Fabrizio Pregliasco, virologist at the University of Milan and Hospital Administrator at the IRCCS Galeazzi in Milan.
“Our hands are a repository for germs,” commented Prof. Pregliasco. “A percentage of these are non-pathogenic microorganisms that normally remain on the skin without causing damage. These can be joined, however, by viruses and bacteria that circulate in the air or with which we come into contact by touching the most diverse surfaces. How can we defend ourselves? Above all by washing our hands thoroughly, then by paying particular attention to certain objects – or places – with which we come into contact in the course of the day.”
Hands are our main means of contact with the world and consequently the most exposed to germs of every type. Some are harmless (for example, most of the ones we “encounter” on public transport), others potentially dangerous (like the ones we take home with shoes and bags); we find some of them exactly where we might expect (taps and handles in public toilets), others where we wouldn’t think it was possible (our sheets). The main solution remains that of the eleventh rule: washing our hands with warm water and soap, for 40–60 seconds, rubbing well all over, then drying off with a disposable paper towel (even more hygienic than our household towel). This simple practice permits the elimination of 99% of bacteria.
Sofidel and hygiene
Promotion of the culture of health has always been one of Sofidel’s aims, on one hand through the creation of products with a high level of health and hygiene characteristics and on the other through the promotion of healthy lifestyles and good practice in hygiene among its workers, consumers and stakeholders in general.
The commitment of Sofidel to promote health and hygiene also assumes a concrete form through a recent partnership with WaterAid, an NGO headquartered in the UK with the mission of guaranteeing universal access to clean water and sanitation and hygiene services all over the world.
To date, 663 million people don’t have access to drinking water, and 2.4 billion people – about 1 in 3 of the world’s population – can’t count on adequate sanitation or hygiene. This means that otherwise avoidable diseases spread: according to the WHO and UNICEF, a child of under 5 dies every two minutes because of gastrointestinal infections, which represent the second biggest cause of infant death. Half of these deaths could be avoided through simply washing hands thoroughly with soap and water.