World Hand Hygiene Day

On the 5th of May, World Hand Hygiene Day is observed annually across the planet. This day is observed to increase visibility, global promotion, sustainability, and the importance of hand hygiene in health care.

What is the theme for this year’s celebration?

“Unite for safety: clean your hands” is the theme under which this year’s day is being observed. This theme focuses on encouraging people across the planet to clean their hands using the correct products at the right times. Doing this can help achieve a higher quality of global safe care.

What is the history of this day?

In the year 2009, WHO launched a global campaign titled “Save Lives: Clean Your Hands.”  This campaign was launched with the aim of highlighting the importance and need for handwashing among the health care workers as well as the people across the globe. This campaign of the WHO is celebrated as World Hand Hygiene Day on the 5th of May.

What does WHO state about hand hygiene?

WHO urges people at all levels to create an environment that will promote knowledge regarding the importance of cleaning one’s hands. Hand hygiene can be promoted by:

  • Education
  • system change
  • training
  • feedback and monitoring
  • reminders regarding hand hygiene
  • cultural changes

It also looks to make this behaviour a part of every culture. WHO also urges patients, health care workers as well as the general public to frequently clean their hands and to embrace it as a habit.



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