schülke Asia proudly supports World Hand Hygiene Day on 5th May. This yearly initiative is part of the World Health Organisation (WHO) ‘SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands’ annual global campaign and focuses on the importance of improving hand hygiene in health care. Launched in 2009, the major movement provides support for health care workers and raises awareness in the prevention of health care-associated infections. The campaign aims to bring people together to promote proper hand hygiene.
This year’s theme ‘Unite for Safety: Clean Your Hands’ highlights a health care climate and culture that values hand hygiene and infection prevention and control. It recognises health care workers at all levels and encourages unity, communications and collaboration between people assessing health care facilities and health care providers toward better hand hygiene practices to ultimately save lives. With clean hands knowledge and appropriate behaviour, a strong quality and safety culture, people will be encouraged to clean hands at the right times and with the right products.
Our editorial team speaks to Wong Seow Ling, Managing Director of Schülke & Mayr (Asia) Pte Ltd where she shares about how to maintain hand hygiene and protect ourselves as we move into the post-pandemic stage, on choosing the right hand sanitisers and hand washing products and more.
Exclusive Interview with Wong Seow Ling, Managing Director of Schülke & Mayr (Asia) Pte Ltd
1. Please tell us more about schülke Asia and the products available in Singapore?
Wong Seow Ling: Founded in 1889 (Hamburg, Germany), Schülke is a pioneer and leader in infection prevention and hygiene solutions. Schülke develops, produces and distributes antiseptics for wound care and disinfectants for skin, hands and surfaces. Upholding our mission statement, “To protect lives worldwide”, we consistently strive to bring our customers innovative products, solutions and services from the healthcare, industrial and pharmaceutical sectors. Since 2000, Schülke’s Asia hub in Singapore has provided qualified and professional disinfection products for healthcare professionals and consumers in the region.
2. How do we maintain hand hygiene and protect ourselves as we move into the post-pandemic stage?
Wong Seow Ling: We should constantly maintain good hand hygiene by making sure our hands and commonly touched areas/equipment, such as tables, chairs, laptops and mobile, are properly clean and sanitised. Cleaning of the hands is comprised of either washing or sanitising. Washing hands is carried out with mild soap and water for at least 60 seconds, whereas hand sanitising involves rubbing the alcohol-containing solution for 20 – 30 seconds.
Hand sanitising is a quick and more convenient way of cleaning the hands. It is important to remember to use the right amount (3 millilitres (ml); a 50 cents coin size on the palm) for sufficient hand coverage to attain proper sanitisation.
3. What ingredients should we look out for in hand sanitisers and hand washing products?
Wong Seow Ling: For hand sanitiser, one should determine if the product contains sufficient alcohol (60 – 70%) and whether they contain moisturising component(s) to keep skin hydrated after sanitisation. Importantly, appropriate certification to demonstrate the efficacy of the product is important.
One such certification is EN1500, a globally recognised gold-standard test on human volunteers’ hands to demonstrate that the product effectively reduces germ count when applied to the hands.
For handwashing products, a gentle formulation with skin compatible pH, adequate moisturising components (e.g. allantoin etc.) and being dermatologically tested are something consumers should actively look for when it comes to handwashing products.
4. How do we recognise rogue brands?
Wong Seow Ling: Rogue products wouldn’t be apparent at first glance. However, consumers can use a couple of pointers to minimise their chances of stumbling into one.
1. Stick with more well-known hand sanitisers’ manufacturers as they use higher-grade ingredients and have necessary quality checks for assurance.
2. Stick to hospital-grade sanitisers with EN1500 certification.
3. Contact the relevant governing authority, such as Health Sciences Authority, for verifications if in doubt.
5. How does schülke Asia develop products to meet the needs of hospitals and consumers?
Wong Seow Ling: schülke offers flexible solutions in the form of product assortment to tailor to the numerous application areas our customers require in the market. Supported by comprehensive service and detailed consultation, these solutions enable optimal preparation for the diverse challenges of a constantly changing market. Recognising, preventing and fighting infections remain a decisive factor in quality assurance.
We are backed by a strong research and development team in Germany that is fully committed to exploring the development of innovative products while consistently improving on the existing ones. Our product management team works closely with customers to align their preferences and pain points while using our products. This synergistic approach gives us the advantage of continuously providing new and improved product offerings to improve infection control practices. Coupled with the stringent testing regimens we enforce on our products, we are confident that our offerings align with our mission statement, “To protect lives worldwide”, to ensure the quality of the products and the safety of our users.
6. What does schülke Asia recommend for people with dermatological issues, what types of hand hygiene products are suitable for them?
Wong Seow Ling: Our hand sanitisers come with the right amount of alcohol and are moisturising at the same time. We also provide the convenience of pocket-sized hand sanitisers to carry around for use anytime you need them. With the right amount of alcohol and moisturising ingredients, our hand sanitisers will kill the most common germs and keep hands moisturised at the same time.
MICROSHIELD ANGEL BLUE® keeps your hands feeling soft, smooth and hydrated without leaving a sticky residue. It is specially formulated to care for your skin even after frequent and repeated use, so your hands can stay refreshed.
*Individual response varies. As a general recommendation, patients with underlying dermatological conditions are advised to seek their doctor’s advice before using any products.
To find out more about schülke Asia and their products, please visit https://schulkeasia.com.sg/
Images credit to Wong Seow Ling, Managing Director of Schülke & Mayr (Asia) Pte Ltd and schülke Asia