It is disturbing that the hospitalisation of patients can lead to hospital acquired infection
(HAI) and that according to recent research, poor hand hygiene is seen as a contributory factor. This article provides a literature review of current research on this topic. It examines the importance of hand hygiene in healthcare situations, describes effective hand-hygiene procedures, comparing the clinical and cost-effective uses of alcohol hand-rubs with hand washing, and it identifies the various professional and organisational barriers to proper practice among healthcare workers. It concludes with the strategies recommended to improve standards especially in places with limited facilities and resources.
Keywords: Hand hygiene, Hand-rub, Hand washing, Healthcare workers, Nosocomial infection.
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