Healthy ’rivalry’ between hospitals on World Hand Hygiene Day

Netcare Milpark and St Augustine Hospitals compete in hand hygiene relay

Thursday, May 7 2015

In a show of healthy rivalry, two Netcare hospitals in separate provinces competed against one another on 05 May to spread the message of World Hand Hygiene Day to as many people as possible.

Netcare Milpark Hospital, in Johannesburg, and Netcare St Augustine’s Hospital, in Durban, were just two of the Netcare healthcare facilities that supported the World Health Organization (WHO) and South African Department of Health’s SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands campaign to raise awareness of the importance of hand hygiene in preventing the spread of germs.

Netcare St Augustine’s Hospital general manager Dr Augusta Dorning and nursing manager Jennifer Pieterse joined staff in marking World Hand Hygiene Day.

During the relays, each participant had to clean their hands with disinfectant hand rub using the WHO-approved technique, which ensures that all areas of the hand are thoroughly cleansed. At Netcare Milpark Hospital 901 staff and sub-contractors participated in the relay, while at Netcare St Augustine’s Hospital 458 participated in the relay. At both hospitals, visitors and patients were also shown the hand cleaning techniques but were not included in the number of relay participants.

Before the relay, staff from Netcare Milpark Hospital demonstrated techniques of hand washing and applying antibacterial hand rub to more than 100 visitors outside the hospital.

“Nursing students and clinical staff also put up a special show to demonstrate hand hygiene best practices. As they ‘toured’ the hospital wards, patients and staff came up with songs about the importance of washing one’s hands properly,” Netcare Milpark Hospital’s general manager, Anton Gillis, says.

At Netcare St. Augustine’s Hospital in Durban, staff also enthusiastically embraced the event. “Although Netcare Milpark Hospital beat us in the relay, we had a great time and it was all in the name of passionate and safe patient care. Well done to our colleagues at Netcare Milpark Hospital,”says Dr Augusta Dorning, the hospital’s general manager.


Netcare’s director of quality leadership, Dr Dena van den Bergh, applauded the hospitals for the spirit in which they embraced World Hand Hygiene Day. “Hand hygiene is a basic tenet of safe healthcare and World Hand Hygiene Day provides a good opportunity to help spread this vital message to the public and for our staff members to show their commitment to practising hand cleanliness at all times when caring for patients.”

In the WHO African region, South Africa and Nigeria were neck-in-neck in the run up to World Hand Hygiene Day in terms of the number of hospitals registered to participate in the SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands campaign. Netcare hospitals represent a significant proportion of South Africa’s contribution to this global project.

The Federation of Infectious Diseases Societies of Southern Africa (FIDSSA) and the South African Antibiotic Stewardship Programme (SAASP) are also supporting the SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands campaign.



Issued by: Martina Nicholson Associates (MNA) on behalf of Netcare
Contact : Martina Nicholson, Graeme Swinney, Sarah Wilson or Meggan Saville
Telephone: (011) 469 3016
Email: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected] or [email protected]