WHO: May 5, 2021 Clean Your Hands Campaign (2) Knowledge about hand washing

19 April, 2021

Cleaning one's hands depends (inter alia) on adequate knowledge of why is it important and how to wash hands effectively. For example this 2019 study from Hong Kong notes: 'The misconceptions of the respondents related to HH were identified. For example, the majority of the respondents misunderstood that always keeping the hands clean may lower the body’s defence mechanism, hands should be held under water while lathering, water temperature may induce a difference in the cleaning effects of hand cleaning and lathering for 10 s before rinsing is enough for hand disinfection. In fact, the time taken for handwashing and degree of friction generated during lathering are more important than water temperature in removing dirt and microorganism, and warm water causes skin irritations and is not environmentally friendly.' 'Being a female, middle-aged and having tertiary education level are protective factors to improve HH knowledge.'

Epidemiological investigation on hand hygiene knowledge and behaviour: a cross-sectional study on gender disparity

Lorna K. P. Suen, Zoe Y. Y. So, Simon K. W. Yeung, Kiki Y. K. Lo & Simon C. Lam

BMC Public Health volume 19, Article number: 401 (2019)


I invite HIFA members to share any research or publications that reveal gaps in knowledge (and behaviour) among health workers or the general public.

Neil Pakenham-Walsh, HIFA Coordinator, neil@hifa.org www.hifa.org