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.
Slogan: Seconds save lives – clean your hands!
- Engage multiple audiences, highlighting their role in achieving effective hand hygiene action at the point of care, according to the WHO multimodal hand hygiene improvement strategy.
- Support implementation of the WHO 2020 recommendation for universal hand hygiene and of the WHO/UNICEF Hand Hygiene for All initiative in health care facilities.
Clean care for all – it’s in your hands
Each year the SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands campaign aims to progress the goal of maintaining a global profile on the importance of hand hygiene in health care and to ‘bring people together’ in support of hand hygiene improvement globally.
WHO calls on everyone to be inspired by the global movement to achieve universal health coverage (UHC), i.e. achieving better health and well-being for all people at all ages, including financial risk protection, access to quality essential health care services and access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all. Infection Prevention and Control, including hand hygiene, is critical to achieve UHC as it is a practical and evidence-based approach with demonstrated impact on quality of care and patient safety across all levels of the health system.
About SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands
SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands brings people together in support of hand hygiene improvement globally and to progress the goal of maintaining a global profile on hand hygiene in health care.
The campaign aims to galvanise action at the point of care to demonstrate that hand hygiene is the entrance door for reducing health care-associated infection and patient safety. It also aims to demonstrate the world’s commitment to this priority area of health care.
WHO’s role includes encouraging engagement and action to maintain this global movement. Numbers are a great awareness-raising mechanism, as demonstrated by the growing number of health-care facilities registered for SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands but they are not the end point. Sustaining the efforts to improve patient safety requires dedicated action and innovation both of which are now more crucial than ever. WHO have appreciated receiving communications about country and health-care facility activities. Action must continue; use the WHO tools to support your actions.
As part of a major global effort to improve hand hygiene in health care, led by WHO to support health-care workers, the SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands annual global campaign was launched in 2009 and was a natural extension of the WHO First Global Patient Safety Challenge: Clean Care is Safer Care work which is now WHO IPC global unit.
The central core of SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands is that all health-care workers should clean their hands at the right time and in the right way.
WHO SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands annual initiative is part of a major global effort led by the World Health Organization (WHO) to support health-care workers to improve hand hygiene in health care and thus support the prevention of often life threatening HAI.
SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands incorporates a global annual day to focus on the importance of improving hand hygiene in health care with WHO providing support for these efforts. A suite of hand hygiene improvement tools and materials have been created from a base of existing research and evidence and from rigorous testing, as well as working closely with a range of experts in the field. The tools aim to help the translation into practice of a multimodal strategy for improving and sustaining hand hygiene in health care.
WHO SAVES LIVES: Clean your hands in the context of COVID-19
Hand Hygiene is one of the most effective actions to reduce the spread of pathogens and prevent infections, including the COVID-19 virus. This document promotes the WHO global hand hygiene campaign SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands in the context of other hand hygiene initiatives launched by WHO for COVID-19, and provides rapid technical guidance.