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GOJO, inventors of PURELL® Advanced Hand Sanitizer, was among 150 major companies and human and animal health organizations and stakeholders at the White House Forum to announce commitments over the next five years to slow the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, detect resistant strains, preserve the efficacy of our existing antibiotics, and prevent the spread of resistant infections.
“A primary prevention approach to reduce the need for antibiotics is effective hand hygiene,” says Joe Kanfer, chairman and CEO of GOJO, who attended the Forum. “As we know, hand hygiene is one of the best measures you can take to prevent the spread of illness-causing germs. Staying healthy and preventing infections from happening is a very effective way to reduce the use of antibiotics. This is why practicing good hand hygiene – handwashing and hand sanitizing – is so important to overcoming the challenge of antibiotic resistance. We look forward to working with other organizations that share this dedication to improving public health.”
Each year in the United States alone, approximately 2 million people become infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics and at least 23,000 people die each year as a direct result of these types of infections. Plus, many more people die from other conditions that were complicated by an antibiotic-resistant infection. In addition, antibiotic-resistant infections have been estimated to cost the U.S. healthcare system more than $20 billion annually.
Science indicates the root cause of antibiotic resistance is over-prescription and overuse of antibiotics by humans and in animals. Increasingly, antibiotic overuse results in the inability to prevent and control infections as certain bacteria develop defenses against entire classes of antibiotic compounds. Widely deploying prophylactic solutions that prevent the need for antibiotics and therefore reduce the burden of resistant organisms across communities and healthcare settings is paramount. Effective hand hygiene is one of the most significant solutions to protecting public health.
Last year, President Obama signed an Executive Order launching Federal efforts to combat the rise in antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The Administration also issued its National Strategy on Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria, which outlines steps the U.S. government will take to improve prevention, detection, and control of resistant pathogens. Earlier this year, the White House released its National Action Plan to Combat Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria, a comprehensive effort that identifies critical actions to be taken by government over the next five years. In addition, the President’s FY 2016 Budget proposed nearly doubling the amount of Federal funding for combating and preventing antibiotic resistance to more than $1.2 billion.
GOJO Antibiotic Stewardship Commitments
This effort directly aligns with the GOJO Purpose of Saving Lives and Making Life Better Through Well-Being Solutions, and is why GOJO has pledged its support.
The following details the actions GOJO plans to take to further this commitment.
Collaborative studies with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), other government agencies and public health organizations to advance the science of hand hygiene and infection prevention
• GOJO and the CDC investigators will launch the multi-factorial study, “Detect and Protect Collaborative – Stopping Deadly “Superbugs” in Long-Term Acute Care Hospitals.” This study includes novel hand hygiene compliance monitoring provided by GOJO.
• GOJO and the Veterans Administration (VA) hospitals work together to drive hand hygiene compliance throughout the hundreds of VA hospitals nationwide to decrease the prevalence and burden of all disease-causing organisms, especially those that are antibiotic resistant.
• GOJO supports the CDC “Get Smart” programs with media efforts in a very deliberate, multi-year effort, to raise awareness of hand hygiene as a preventive measure to reduce health risks from antibiotic resistance, targeting healthcare and public health leaders, educators and parents. GOJO in collaboration with the CDC will provide “Get Smart” education and free hand sanitizer sampling.
• Keeping kids healthy is #1 --- GOJO will work with school systems across the country with the intent to dramatically reduce student absenteeism through hand hygiene. Having healthy kids reduces the need for antibiotics.
Source: GOJO Industries