A new report by the Global Hygiene Council (GHC) calls for urgent action from governments and policymakers to prioritize hygiene in home and community settings in pandemic preparedness plans. The report, titled “Making Hygiene Matter,” emphasizes the vital role of hygiene in reducing the incidence of infections and the prevalence of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), a silent pandemic that could lead to 10 million deaths annually by 2050 without intervention.
Elizabeth Scott, GHC Chair and Microbiologist and Professor Emerita at Simmons University in Boston, USA, states that good hygiene is a cost-effective, accessible solution to prevent infections and save lives. The report identifies 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 is urging governments, policymakers, and health authorities to recognize the importance of hygiene and adopt the report’s recommendations in responding to existing and future infectious disease threats, including AMR. By prioritizing hygiene, millions of lives can be saved and public health can be significantly improved.