5th May – World Hand Hygiene Day 2021
Seconds save lives – clean your hands!
The SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands global campaign, launched in 2009 and celebrated annually on 5 May (World Hand Hygiene Day) aims to maintain global promotion, visibility and sustainability of hand hygiene in health care and to ‘bring people together’ in support of hand hygiene improvement around the world.
For World Hand Hygiene Day 2021, WHO calls on health care workers and facilities to achieve effective hand hygiene action at the point of care. The point of care refers to the place where three elements come together: the patient, the health care worker, and care or treatment involving contact with the patient or their surroundings. To be effective and prevent transmission of infectious microorganisms during health care delivery, hand hygiene should be performed when it is needed (at 5 specific moments) and in the most effective way (by using the right technique with readily available products) at the point of care. This can be achieved by using the WHO multimodal hand hygiene improvement strategy.
Campaign theme: Achieving hand hygiene at the point of care.
Key facts and figures
- Appropriate hand hygiene prevents up to 50% of avoidable infections acquired during health care delivery, including those affecting the health work force.
- Appropriate hand hygiene reduces the risk on SARS-CoV-2 – the virus that causes COVID-19 – infection among health workers.
- 1 in 3 facilities lack hand hygiene facilities at the point of care.
- Globally, out of every 100 patients, 7 in developed and 15 in developing countries will acquire at least one HAI in acute care hospitals.