Promoting hand washing, stroke prevention, and tobacco control are recognised at BMJ Group award ceremonyBMJ 2009; 338 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.b1428 (Published 03 April 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b1428
All rapid responses
Re: Promoting hand washing, stroke prevention, and tobacco control are recognised at BMJ Group award ceremony
Despite austerity measures and strict IMF-ECB-EC surveillance Greek government employees manage to receive complementary State bonuses for washing their hands! 
Washing hands is very useful and prevents many diseases, but it is something that should be done voluntarily.
Nobody should receive State benefits of 400 pounds/month just for hand washing, especially in a debt producing economy, such as the Greek one.
For the record, no drastic reduction of infectious diseases in government employees was reported in Greece during the last 20 years they have been receiving these State bonuses.
Apparently, they were just taking the money without washing their hands!
Anyhow, it is evident that Greek State Departments qualify for the first prize in the award ceremony for hand washing.
They have been spending billions, for many years, to promote hand washing to tens of thousands of State employees.
Competing interests: Dr Stavros Saripanidis is a diligent taxpayer who has been financing these bonuses for years. He is washing his hands properly without any State assistance.
It has taken BMJ 10 YEARS to recognise handwashing promotion and
motivation by which time my academic career has moved from assistant
professor to professor and head of department of a teaching medical
college.this rule of
Parkinson,s law SIMPLE things are always debated for amny years but the
buying of an jumbo jet aircraft is almost done within a few minutes.
Hand washing, when done correctly, is the single most effective way
to prevent the spread of communicable diseases. Good hand washing
technique is easy to learn and can significantly reduce the spread of
infectious diseases among both children.
Diseases spread through fecal-oral transmission. Infections which may be
transmitted through this route include salmonellosis, shigellosis,
hepatitis A, giardiasis, enterovirus, amebiasis, and campylobacteriosis.
Because these diseases are spread through the ingestion of even the
tiniest particles of fecal material, hand washing after using the toilet
cannot be over-emphasized.
Diseases spread through indirect contact with respiratory secretions.
Microorganisms which may be transmitted through this route include
influenza, Streptococcus, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and the common
cold. Because these diseases may be spread indirectly by hands
contaminated by respiratory discharges of infected people, illness may be
avoided by washing hands after coughing or sneezing and after shaking
hands with an individual who has been coughing and sneezing.
Diseases may also be spread when hands are contaminated with urine, saliva
or other moist body substances. Microorganisms which may be transmitted by
one or more of these body substances include cytomegalovirus, typhoid,
staphylococcal organisms, and Epstein-barr virus. These germs may be
transmitted from person to person or indirectly by contamination of food
or inanimate objects such as toys.
In the NICU a simple gesture of brushing the hair with the hands can
transmit staphyloccus aureus.
The great William Osler also promoted this concept in his time.
In medical science it is imperative to take care of the small things in
order to be cost effective in areas of health and other important domains
Methods to motivate handwashing in the NICU
Edwin Dias (20 March 1999)
Rapid Responses to:
Handwashing Liaison Group
BMJ 1999; 318: 686
Competing interests: No competing interests