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Better ‘Nannying’ Now Than Nevr

For some Scots it may be a case of being patronized, but Health Minister Andy Kerr is more than willing to take the blame.//

Kerr is backing a 2.5 million pound campaign that will begin this Monday. The move is to get Scots to wash their hands more often and this way combat the common cold, flu, food poisoning, diarrhea as well as tougher enemies like E.coli and MRSA.

Says Kerr ‘It's a simple message, but washing our hands is something that we don't always do perhaps because our hands don't look dirty, we don't have time, or we don't believe it makes any difference.

‘But it does make a difference. The most common way germs are spread is by people's hands and they can carry a range of bugs.’

The initiative to raise public awareness of hand hygiene will be supported with television advertisements, sensor-activated posters in washrooms as well as messages on cash machine screens.

Research has shown that 17 percent of Scots do not understand the need of washing hands or the importance of this in warding off infections.

One of the advertisements include a message that encourages the public to sing the ‘Happy Birthday’ song twice over, the time required to wash germs off hands completely.

Though the program is highly approved by the Royal College of Nursing, the British Medical Association and WHO, the amounts of funds diverted to it has drawn protests from political opposition parties.

Avers SNP health spokeswoman Shona Robison’ Whether this is the best way to get the message across, or to spend the public's money, is open to question.

‘Rather than using this cash on an advertising campaign, we should be looking at how to invest this £2.5m to fight MRSA and other infections on our wards and in our hospitals.’

Supporters include Professor Didier Pittet, a leading worldwide expert in hand hygiene and adviser to the World Health Organization who adds, ‘By launching this natio nal hand hygiene promotion campaign, health authorities, hospitals and stakeholders in Scotland are confirming their major commitment to making patient safety a daily reality at the bedside.’


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