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    Cambodia wash hand sport to avoid COVID-19

    As COVID-19 becomes more prevalent, a wave of mask panic buying has resulted around the world. Virus expert Lai Ming-Chiao, who helped to prevent the spread of SARS in the past, pointed out that washing hands frequently is far more important than wearing masks. Epidemiologist Ho Mei-Shang emphasized more than once in her speech that “washing hands is far more important than wearing masks.”

    Superintendent Lin Yao-Hsiang states that the COVID-19 virus is transmitted via contact and airborne droplets; it is not easily transmitted in outside and ventilated areas. Most people only focus on masks to prevent infection, but overlook the severity of “contact transmission.” Other than the nose and mouth, other parts of our bodies are exposed. If hands that contain the virus come in contact with the mask, eyes, and nose, the person can be at risk of infection. Thus, the most important method for preventing infection is to wash your hands frequently.

    During the SARS epidemic, the Kaohsiung Veterans General Hospital had zero in-hospital infections. Since 2017, the Kaohsiung Veterans General Hospital has signed medical care MOUs with the Takeo Provincial Health Department, the Baty Referral Hospital, and the Takeo Provincial Hospital in Cambodia. Since then, the KVGH has implemented children’s health promotion plans, including hand hygiene promotion and nutrition teaching. The goal is to share infection control technology and experience with Cambodia, and to cultivate the concept of hand washing among local people and hospital workers.

    Nutrition education-themed tours are used in villages to provide children with basic care knowledge and skills training. Active assistance is provided to the Baty Referral Hospital and Takeo Provincial Hospital in stages to promote hand hygiene through policy and practice.

    Cambodian language slogans, as well as outdoor advocacy billboards, for hand hygiene have been created for the first time so that the public can understand the importance of washing and the proper hand washing procedures. A Cambodia-Taiwan infection control team was also established for the first time to produce hand hygiene fluorescent test teaching aids and to formulate hand hygiene standard documents, which can help the local implementation of hand hygiene.

    A “borderless hand hygiene oath” was held with the Director of Cambodia’s Takeo Provincial Health Department, District Director, the Baty Referral Hospital, and the public to increase awareness and cohesion. This event was widely recognized and reported by newspaper agencies, such as the Jian Hua Daily and the Commercial News, as well as television stations, in Cambodia.

    The continuous promotion by the Kaohsiung Veterans General Hospital has won praise and thanks from different medical units and administrative agencies in Cambodia, including the Takeo Provincial Health Department, Baty Referral Hospital, Takeo Provincial Hospital, the Putsor Township Office, and the Putsor Health Center. Economic benefits (such as decrease in the number of hospital stay days) resulted in a US$ 50,000 (approximately NT$ 1,550,000) in hospital cost savings. The diarrhea prevalence rate also decreased from 4.15% to 3.17%, while the pneumonia prevalence rate decreased from 4.9% to 4.4%.

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