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Dirty hands do the devil’s business

Dirty hands do the devil’s business

Picture of William Heisel

A story today out of Nigeria had me thinking about my interview with Father William Cleary last month.

I spend a lot of time on Antidote writing about hard-to-get information and new ways to use data to find the monsters lurking in health care's basement. But we never should forget the havoc that can be wrought by simply forgetting to wash one's hands.

Ajibike Oyewumi, the general manager for quality improvement at Lagoon Hospitals in Nigeria, noted at an event to mark World Hand Hygiene Day, a World Health Organization pet project, that thousands of people in Nigeria die every year in from hospital-acquired infections.

How many "swine flu" or H1N1 stories talked about the need to regularly wash one's hands?

When hunting for why something has gone wrong at a hospital or in a school or even in a whole country, don't forget to look for whether basic sanitation guidelines are being followed.

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