Study of Hand Sanitizer Use and Education in Water-Restricted Region

1/27/2012

Study of Hand Sanitizer Use and Education in Water-Restricted Region

The recently published results of a nine-month study of the effectiveness of children’s use of PURELL® Instant Hand Sanitizer coupled with hand hygiene education in a water-restricted region in South America exemplifies the importance of the GOJO commitment to social well-being.

The study, by Fundación Santa Fe in Bogotá and Professor Juan Correa, MD, MBA, MPH, was conducted in 42 childcare centers in six towns in Colombia with limited access to clean tap water, a circumstance considered a leading cause of childhood death in developing nations.

The study’s purpose was to gauge the effectiveness of combining the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers with hand hygiene education to reduce acute diarrheal diseases and respiratory infections. In partnership with GOJO, a distributor of PURELL products in South America (GOVI) donated PURELL Instant Hand Sanitizer and placed dispensers in the childcare centers. A team from Fundación Santa Fe in Bogotá developed and distributed the hand hygiene curriculum.

As reported in the June 2012 issue of Pan American Journal of Public Health, the Colombia study demonstrated that children’s use of alcohol hand sanitizer in conjunction with education helped to reduce life-threatening infections. Among the children who took part in the study, diarrhea cases were reduced by 30 percent and respiratory illnesses by more than 11 percent. Additionally, there were zero instances of product misuse by the young subjects. The study’s authors concluded that Colombia’s disease-prevention policies should include the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers, especially in settings where hand washing with soap and water is limited due to the availability of clean water.

“I believe teaching about and encouraging the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizer is a simple and easy intervention that is very effective in reducing life-threatening diarrhea and respiratory infections,” said Dr. Correa. “These small changes can make a tremendous impact on the health of children and their communities.”

The Colombia study reflects the GOJO commitment to evidence-based understanding of the role of good hand hygiene for health and well-being. “The study results prove that the use of PURELL products, combined with hand hygiene knowledge, can save lives. They reinforce the importance of the GOJO commitment to social well-being around the globe as it pertains to the GOJO Purpose – saving lives and making life better through well-being solutions,” said Nicole Koharik, GOJO global sustainability marketing director.