Hands, Soap and the Control of Infectious Disease

15/10/2020 (12:30-14:00)
To register please complete the booking form here. For further information email eventsoffice@dmu.ac.uk
Join us as we focus on the impact of COVID-19 in the context of Global Handwashing Day.

Dr Katie Laird, Reader in Microbiology and Mark Charlton, Associate Director of Public Engagement will lead a series of short talks and a discussion with research students on multidisciplinary approaches to health hygiene education, specifically infection control and prevention related to infectious diseases and COVID-19.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has stated that handwashing is the key strategy for reducing and containing the transmission of the SARS-CoV-2. The resources available for handwashing (soap and water) and understanding of microorganism transmission varies significantly globally, with disparities between western societies and low to middle income countries. It is important that correct handwashing practice is taught from a young age and becomes a life skill, yet the concept of an “invisible germ” to 3-5 years olds is a difficult message to portray.

Dr Katie Laird and Sarah Younie, Professor of Education Innovation are co-founders of “A Germ’s Journey Educational Resources” that aim to do just that. Working with a multidisciplinary team (Science, Education, Nursing, Psychology, Art & Design, Media and English Literature) of talented DMU students, handwashing resources including books, games, songs, colouring sheets, parent guides and a museum exhibition have been co-created for children around the world to engage and learn from. The data collected demonstrates impact and changes in understanding, behaviour and a reduction in illness related to handwashing in the UK, India and Sierra Leone.

The discussion will focus on handwashing in the fight against COVID-19 and perspectives of students from several disciplines on how being involved with Germ’s Journey has informed their studies and future careers.

This event is part of an ongoing series of lectures with leading DMU scholars to mark National/International Awareness Days. The events aim to reflect on how research can help communities deal with the COVID-19 crisis within the contexts of the environment, health and wellbeing, political stabilities and future generations.

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