Health Care Associated Infections (HCAI) and communicable diseases are a great burden on the economy of nations, the functioning of healthcare institutions and health state of individuals across the world. Of every 100 hospitalized patients at any given time, 7 in developed and 10 in developing countries will acquire at least one health care-associated infection.
However preventable infections should be prevented. Hand sanitization is not only the cheapest but also the most effective way of preventing communicable diseases, in and outside the hospital.
Every year 5th May is celebrated as World Hand Hygiene Day to create awareness about the importance of hand hygiene in prevention of spread of communicable diseases. This also lessens the burden of antimicrobial resistance. It is an age old saying that ‘prevention is better than cure’. Our culture and civilization also has advocated personal and hand hygiene, for thousands of years.
We have always been striving to give our patients, their attendants, our employees , staff members, our visitors and vendors associated with us and the community we serve, a safer environment – to get healed quickly, to work healthy and to live healthy. On 5th May 2016, we culminated a mission to accomplish creating a Guinness World Record in hand sanitization relay, under the banner of ‘Clean Hands, Healing Hands’. This endeavour engaged 1711 participants working at Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, Delhi, involved in health care related activity at this institution. The aim was to create cascading awareness on importance of hand hygiene for enhancing patient and health care personnel’s safety, across the globe.
We formed a human chain relay, each following similar steps in sanitizing their hands with a commercially available alcohol gel sanitizer, following the rules and regulations as per Guinness World Record guidelines, strictly and independently witnessed by men of prestige and stewarded by 36 independent stewards not associated with the hospital. About 80 litres of sanitizer were used in preparation and final execution of the event. Hectic man-hours and man-days were spent in planning, preparation and smooth execution for this mass exercise.
We were informed of our success at the record holding title by the Records management Team at the Guinness World Records, on July 1st 2016, and to quote them:
“We are thrilled to inform you that your application for ‘Most Participants in a Hand Sanitising Relay’ has been successful and you are now a Guinness World Record Title Holder!”