Why are we doing this?

How does it work?

There are 7,000,000 infections per year worldwide. Approximately 4 million people in the EU acquire a healthcare-associated infection (HAI) each year, from which approximately 37,000 die. In the US, HAI are the 4th leading cause of death, behind heart disease, cancer and strokes.

Healthcare-associated infections kill more people than automobile accidents, fires and drowning, resulting in 100,000 deaths annually in the US. In fact, there is a greater number of HAI deaths in the US than HIV and breast cancer combined.

HAI place a significant socioeconomic burden on people from all regions of the world.

In addition to the immeasurable personal costs, they cost over $80 billion globally, according to the World Health Organisation. Microbes that thrive on objects we touch every day cause these infections. Antibiotic-resistant organisms have spread from the healthcare environment to schools, homes and mass transit. In addition, antimicrobial resistance – the theme of World Health Day 2011 – and its global spread, threatens the continued effectiveness of many medicines used today to treat infectious diseases.

Despite aggressive hand washing campaigns and routine cleaning, infection rates remain unacceptably high and more needs to be done.

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