Hesperian Health Guides

Prevent infection by keeping germs away

Every day 20,000 people visit the HealthWiki for lifesaving health information. A gift of just $5 helps make this possible!

Make a giftMake a gift to support this essential health information people depend on.

HealthWiki > A Book for Midwives > Chapter 5: Preventing Infection > Prevent infection by keeping germs away

Here are the basic rules to prevent infection.

a person using an index finger to pull a glove onto the opposite hand.
Clean your hands and wear protective clothing.
Wash your hands often and wear protective clothing to prevent spreading germs from one person to another and to keep germs away from yourself.
blankets drying in the sun.
Clean the space and bedding.
Clean the area where births and exams happen, to keep germs away.
MW Ch5 Page 52-3.png
Clean and sterilize tools.
Wash and sterilize tools to kill any germs on them.
a hand placing a syringe into a box that says "DANGER, Used Needles".
Get rid of wastes safely.
Throw away waste products carefully to prevent people in the community from getting sick from the germs left on them.

Remember: Infection can spread most easily when a health worker is caring for many people. For example, if her hands are not clean or her tools are not sterile, she will pass germs from one woman to another to another. For this reason, a woman giving birth at a hospital or maternity center with many other women has more risk of infection than a woman giving birth at home.

This page was updated:11 Sep 2019