Hand sanitisers in healthcare

A hygienic retrospect for a healthy future.

Looking back four years, the COVID-19 pandemic caught us unexpectedly and triggered a global crisis and profound changes in public health.[1] Some of the resulting changes in our health and aged care systems could be seen as positive.

At the time, governments, scientists, politicians and popular public figures around the globe almost ‘frantically’ urged not only the general public, but also frontline Healthcare Workers (HCWs) to practice proper hand hygiene as one of the most important and effective preventive measures against the spread of infection.[1]

The call for stricter hand hygiene measures caused an unprecedented surge in demand for hand sanitisers, including alcohol-based hand sanitisers (ABHSs).[2,3] In fact, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other relevant health agencies responsible for promoting health worldwide have strongly encouraged the use of hand sanitisers as a highly effective hand hygiene practice due to their simplicity of use, efficacy in decreasing the microbial count on hands, and independence from soap and water, which are not always accessible.[2–4] As a result, ABHSs became and still are an indispensable hand hygiene companion.

Now four years on, we see changes in our health and aged care systems which include the use of ABHSs at the point of care and stricter protocols in health and aged care to prevent outbreaks amongst vulnerable people.[5,6]  

Aqium® Hand Sanitisers[7] are a reliable and convenient choice for maintaining hand hygiene. New TGA Registered Aqium Moisturising Antibacterial Hand Gel (Aust R 410937), containing 70 percent w/w ethanol – absolute, and four moisturisers including Glycerin and Panthenol is clinically proven to kill germs without compromising skin hydration, pH or barrier integrity over repeated use.[8]

Aqium Moisturising Antibacterial Hand Gel is the latest hand hygiene product from Ego Pharmaceuticals. An Australian owned, Melbourne-based manufacturer of both cosmetic and therapeutic skin care products, Ego Pharmaceuticals[9] has been manufacturing Aqium® Hand Sanitisers[7] since 2000, thus creating a hand sanitiser market in Australia. Amid the COVID-19 outbreak, Ego streamlined its operations to produce large quantities of Aqium® Hand Sanitisers[7] without compromising on quality, efficacy and safety.

“With support from the Australian Federal Government and Victorian State Government, Ego Pharmaceuticals increased its production of sanitiser products and hired more staff to ensure round the clock production. We made five times the amount of Aqium Hand Sanitiser than what was forecast. From May 2020, 70% of produced Aqium Hand Sanitiser was allocated for the Hospital and Aged Care sector, with the rest for pharmacy,” said Mr. Alan Oppenheim, Ego Managing Director.

The rapid response by Ego in 2020–21 and willingness to adapt under fast-paced changes reinforced the values that the business stands for – the quality, integrity and safety of products, commitment to science and innovation, and focus on helping people restore and maintain skin health.[10]

“The introduction of Aqium Moisturising Antibacterial Hand Gel demonstrates our desire to meet the needs of health and aged care workers, and to help them maintain skin health,” added Mr. Oppenheim.

To request a sample pack of Aqium Moisturising Gel » click here

Article by Dalibor Mijaljica PhD, Ego scientific writer


  1. Alzyood M, Jackson D, Aveyard H, Brooke J. COVID-19 reinforces the importance of handwashing. J Clin Nurs. 2020;29(15-16):2760–2761.
  2. Singh D, Joshi K, Samuel A, Patra J, Mahindroo N. Alcohol-based hand sanitisers as first line of defence against SARS-CoV-2: a review of biology, chemistry and formulations. Epidemiol Infect. 2020;148:e229.
  3. Vuppu S, Mishra T, Chinamgari A. Use of hand sanitizers in COVID-19 prevention: A comprehensive overview. Pharmacoepidemiology. 2023;2(3):257–271.
  4. Abuga K, Nyamweya N. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers in COVID-19 prevention: A multidimensional perspective. Pharmacy. 2021;9(1):64.
  5. Tropea J, Peters S, Francis JJ, Bennett N, Fetherstonhaugh D, Buising K, Lim LL, Marshall C, Flynn M, Murray M, Yates P, Aboltins C, Johnson D, Kwong J, Long K, McCahon J, Lim WK. IMpleMenting Effective infection prevention and control in ReSidential aged carE (IMMERSE): protocol for a multi-level mixed methods implementation study. BMC Geriatr. 2023;23(1):109.
  6. National Health Medical Research Council – Australian Guidelines for the Prevention and Control of Infection in Healthcare 2019 [Internet]. Available from: https://www.safetyandquality.gov.au/sites/default/files/2023-10/australian-guidelines-for-the-prevention-and-control-of-infection-in-healthcare.pdf. (cited 02 April 2024).
  7. Aqium [Internet]. Available from: https://www.aqium.com.au/. (cited 18 March 2024).
  8. Ego Pharmaceuticals. Commissioned external study. Average increase in skin hydration (corneometer), average change in TEWL (Tewameter), average change in pH (skin pH meter) over 14 days using Aqium Moisturising Antibacterial Hand Gel, 20 ±2 applications per day. Physician and participant assessments. n=33. 2023.
  9. Ego Pharmaceuticals [Internet]. Available from: https://www.egopharm.com/au/en.html. (cited 18 March 2024).
  10. Ego Pharmaceuticals – our purpose [Internet]. Available from: https://www.egopharm.com/au/en/about-us/values.html. (cited 18 March 2024).