Prioritizing Hygiene: A Vital Step in Combating Antimicrobial Resistance
The Global Hygiene Council (GHC) has published a report titled “Making Hygiene Matter,” emphasizing the urgent need for governments and policymakers to prioritize hygiene in home and community settings in pandemic preparedness plans. The report highlights the essential role hygiene plays in reducing infections and addressing the ongoing threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), which claimed 4.95 million lives in 2019 and could result in 10 million deaths annually by 2050 without intervention.
GHC Chair and Microbiologist and Professor Emerita at Simmons University in Boston, USA, Elizabeth Scott, stresses the importance of good hygiene as a cost-effective, accessible solution to prevent infections and save lives. The report presents four pillars for change: sustaining hygiene awareness in everyday settings, reducing the need for antibiotics through hygiene practices, recognizing the economic benefits of effective hygiene, and driving behavior change to establish strong hygiene habits.
The GHC encourages governments, policymakers, and health authorities to adopt and implement the report’s recommendations when responding to existing and future infectious disease threats, including AMR. By focusing on hygiene, millions of lives can be protected, and public health can be improved on a global scale.