Aiming at awareness-raising about the effectiveness of hand hygiene which in the long run contributes to reducing both antibiotic use and antimicrobial resistance, Macedonia has joined, for the second year in a row, the global celebration of the World Hand Hygiene Day (5 May).
Organized under the auspices of the Multisectoral Committee for Antimicrobial Resistance within the Ministry of Health and the WHO Country Office, with support from the WHO Regional office for Europe and in collaboration with Medical Faculty – Skopje, Institute for Public Health and CRPRC Studiorum, the event marking the World Hand Hygiene Day in Macedonia was held on 4 May 2015 at the Dean’s Office at the Medical Faculty in Skopje under the slogan “Clean hands save lives”.
The event was officially opened by Prof. Dr. Nikola Jankulovski, Dean of the Medical Faculty – Skopje, Prim. Dr. Jovanka Kostovska, Head of the Sector for Preventive Healthcare, Ministry of Health, and Prof. Dr. Aspazija Sofijanova, Director of the University Clinic for Children Diseases and President of the Macedonian Association of Pediatricians. In the scientific part, presentations were delivered by Prof. Dr. Nikola Panovski, President of the Multisectoral Committee for Antimicrobial Resistance, Prof. Dr. Kakja Popovska, President of the Association for Intra-hospital Infections, Dr. Saskia Nahrgang, AMR Technical officer from the WHO Regional Office for Europe and Dr. Elizabeth Robiloti, University of Stanford, USA.
Statistical data show that rate of intra-hospital infections in Macedonia and especially of MRSA-related infections is increasing particularly in hospital settings. Numerous presented examples from other countries where this rate has already been reduced by 24% prove regular and proper hand hygiene to be one of the most effective activities for infection prevention and control.
Also announced at the event was the launching of the four-week online Course on Antimicrobial Stewardship for health and public health professionals, and healthcare facility managers which is organized by the Medical Faculty – Skopje in cooperation with the Stanford University School of Medicine and CRIS Studiorum.