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New Hand Hygiene Campaign Promotes Community Health to Reduce Illness and Infection

ATLANTA: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), handwashing can prevent one in three cases of diarrhea and one in five respiratory infections, such as a cold or the flu.

To improve community hand hygiene, the CDC Foundation collaborated with CDC's Waterborne Disease Prevention Branch to develop a new suite of handwashing materials that encourage adults to make handwashing and hand sanitizing a healthy habit, with special emphasis on parents and caregivers, people cooking at home, and people using public restrooms. The new materials—developed with support from Staples, GOJO and the CDC Foundation—include radio public service announcements (PSAs) in English; and posters, social media graphics, web banners and stickers in English and Spanish.

Available just in time for Global Handwashing Day on October 15, these materials promote proper hand hygiene in community settings to prevent transmission of illness and infection and improve community health. According to CDC, proper hand hygiene in communities reduces the number of people who get sick with diarrhea and respiratory illnesses such as colds, and reduces absenteeism due to gastrointestinal illness in school children.

Many diseases and conditions are spread in the community due to poor hand hygiene, said Judy Monroe, MD, president and CEO of the CDC Foundation. Our partnership with GOJO and Staples on this initiative is a great example of the power of partnerships in protecting public health through educational resources that help communities stay healthy.

The new materials are part of a new national campaign, Life is Better with Clean Hands, launched by CDC's Waterborne Disease Prevention Branch and the CDC Foundation with support from GOJO and Staples. Despite widespread knowledge of the importance of handwashing, many people do not correctly wash their hands at key times as a way to protect their health, said Vince Hill, Ph.D., Chief of CDC's Waterborne Disease Prevention Branch. More education is needed, and through this campaign, we want to remind everyone that good handwashing habits are critical for disease prevention.

The campaign is designed to motivate adults to make clean hands part of their daily lives and encourages parents and caregivers to be hand hygiene role models for the children in their lives. The campaign's health promotion materials raise awareness about the importance of handwashing at key times in both homes and public areas, such as before cooking or after using the bathroom.

We know one of the most important measures to prevent illness and infection is effective hand hygiene, said Jim Arbogast, Ph.D., vice president of hygiene science and public health advancements, GOJO. We believe that GOJO in partnership with the CDC, CDC Foundation and Staples, will improve the health of our communities through improved hand hygiene education.

As leaders in the facilities and breakroom space, Staples knows how critical proper hand hygiene is in preventing illness, whether in the office, hospital or at school, said Brady Nunley, vice president, general merchandising manager, Staples. The Life is Better with Clean Hands campaign will continue to educate adults, parents, and caregivers to prevent the spread of such illnesses and Staples is excited to work together with the CDC Foundation on this important initiative.

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New Hand Hygiene Campaign Promotes Community Health to Reduce Illness and Infection


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