TRURO – If you are planning to shake hands with a local politician in the near future, you might want to choose Truro-Bible Hill MLA Lenore Zann.
At least, that is, if it comes down to a choice between her, Truro Mayor Bill Mills or Colchester County Mayor Bob Taylor.
"Cleanest hands in Truro," the NDP representative declared, after the three politicians participated in a hand-washing challenge held at the Colchester Regional Hospital as part of Quality Day celebrations on Tuesday.
The challenge, which also included hospital authority representatives, Truro Police Service Deputy Chief Jim Flemming and EHS representatives, was intended to highlight proper hand-washing techniques while also drawing attention to the crucial role that hand-washing plays in preventing the spread of infections in hospitals and the general public.
"My mother taught me from an early age how important it is to wash your hands, so I'm actually very particular about it," Zann said following her win. "I wash them many times a day and I always try to get up around my wrists and stuff. But I did notice that what we found is that right under the nail beds, you need to rub those too. That's where there's some traces still of the germs. So I learned a lot actually today," she said.
"And it's only fair to the other people you are shaking hands with."
Mills said he did not fare so well on Tuesday.
"It wasn't very good," he said of his results. "It was a dirty year for me," he joked. "Very dirty. I'm a dirty, filthy dog."
His hand-washing technique was so bad, in fact, that Mills received a slight reprimand from the event's judge.
"She slapped me on the hands because mine were so bad," he said.
Taylor, who lost out to Mills last year, said he was obviously a slow learner in the process.
"It might have been close this year. He beat me hands down last year," Taylor said with a laugh.
"I think I was a little better (than last year). My right hand was good."
Colchester East Hants Health Authority spokes woman Krista Wood said the annual celebration at the hospital is offered to provide an opportunity to both learn more about the services available to communities it serves and to celebrate its Accreditation with Exemplary Standing, along with "the many quality improvement initiatives that are being carried out by members of our health team across the district."
- More than 220,000 patients acquire health-care associated infections (HCAIs) in Canada every year, resulting in between 8,000 to 10,000 deaths.
- At any given time, 1.4 million people worldwide are suffering infections acquired while in hospital.
- Up to 50 per cent of HCAIs could have been prevented.