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A Study to Ascertain the Practice of Hand Hygiene among MedicalStudents in Commonwealth of Dominica

Opeyemi Oluwabukola Afolabi, Esther Olajumoke Adewumi, Srinivas Medavarapu, Temiloluwa Oladoyin Ige, Oluwaseyi Joy Alao and Olufemi Emmanuel Dada

Background: The practice of hand hygiene is a simple yet effective way to prevent infections. Cleaning of the hands can prevent the spread of germs, in particular those that are resistant to antibiotics and are becoming difficult, if not impossible, to treat. On the average, healthcare providers and indeed medical students clean their hands less than half of the times they should. In a day, about one in 25 hospital patients have at least one healthcareassociated infection.

Method and Findings: A cross-sectional study was carried out at All Saints University School of Medicine, Dominica. A total of 170 students from PM 1-MD5 were told to fill a questionnaire consisting of their age, gender, class, washing of hands with soap and water before eating food, washing with soap and water after urinating, washing with soap and water after defecating, washing hands after using the cadaver room, washing hands after using labs, reason for the disinfection of the body, number of illnesses in the past one year. Analysis of the result showed that medical students studied were cautious on the average towards hand hygiene and on a general note have come to embrace the importance of hand hygiene stressing on the numerous adverse effects its lack of practice have come to prove over the years.

Conclusion: A relationship between hand hygiene, illness rate, and reasons for not practicing hand hygiene is shown in the results. The current study suggests that both hand washing and the use of hand sanitizers have positive effect on the wellness of medical students. The outcomes of improved hand hygiene habits for the student result in reduced health care costs for the university since fewer students may need to utilize health center resources.