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Citation Information

Type Journal Article
Title Improving maternal and newborn health in Zanzibar: a needs assessment of IPC and WAASH
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2015
URL http://r4d.dfid.gov.uk/pdf/outputs/sanitation/Report__Improving_Maternal_and_Newborn_Health_in_Zanzi​bar_March_2015.pdf
The association between hygiene and sepsis
The link between poor hygiene and sepsis was established as early as the 18th century
with the work by Semmelweiss and Gordon1
. Faecal-oral infections driven by poor
domestic and personal hygiene (for example, lack of hand-washing by the person
assisting labour) can lead to sepsis2
. Hand hygiene is currently considered the primary
measure necessary for reducing healthcare associated infections3
. Although the action of
hand hygiene is simple, the lack of compliance among health workers continues to be a
problem throughout the world.
Another important gateway for infection is poor environmental hygiene. While
microbiological contamination will always present to a certain level, highly contaminated
surfaces due to a lack of cleaning or poor cleaning practices are known to result in
‘hygiene failures’. Hygiene failures increase infection risk since the microbiological
contamination of hand-touch sites make it more likely for hand contamination to take
place. Pathogen transmission between the surface and the client can happen directly
from the surface itself or via the hands of health workers. There is robust evidence
suggesting that improved surface cleaning and disinfection reduces disease incidence

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