Clean Care is Safer Care

Local hand hygiene events 2009

Events which took place on and around 5 May 2009 to initiate SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands


Établissement Public de Santé de Proximité Bouchnafa launched a one week hand hygiene awareness campaign on 5 May.


El Cruce High Tech Hospital in Florencio Varela profiled the importance of hand hygiene on 5 May by delivering a series of daily training workshops on the 5 Moments for Hand Hygiene for all health-care workers as well as the public. The hospital also launched the motto "Clean Hands Saves Lives" which will be included in all official hospital emails. Several times a day, messages related to hand hygiene were announced through the hospital speaker system. All staff were given individual alcohol dispensers.

On 5 May Sanatorio Guemes ACE in Chaco held a meeting about hand hygiene attended by all staff . A copy of the 5 Moments for Hand Hygiene was distributed in all units and all staff received individual alcohol handrub dispensers. In each unit, staff took 10 minutes to read and talk about the 5 Moments.

Hospital Artémides Zatti in Viedma Rio Negro provided information to all its staff about the SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands initiative and the importance of hand hygiene. The hospital also did outreach in local schools, ensuring the children and their parents were aware of how and when to clean their hands properly.


Hand Hygiene Australia invited all health-care facilities in Australia to do something special for 5 May this year. This included sending out letters with a list of suggestions to promote the day. A national media promotion was also planned to inform the Australian public about the importance of hand hygiene.

At the Newcastle Private Hospital, several exciting initiatives were planned for 5 May, including displays at entrances to the hospital and outside lifts. A crossword puzzle was developed for all staff to be included in their payslips. All correct entries received a little something as a mark of appreciation. A computer was set up for staff to complete the online hand hygiene Australian education package and there was a glitter bug and torch to demonstrate good hand hygiene techniques.

At the Southern Hospital Network on the south coast of New South Wales, part of the South Eastern Sydney Allawarra Area Health Service, 5 May was highlighted with the launch of the WHO My 5 Moments for Hand Hygiene across all nine facilities. The hospital network had a 'Think Pink' promotion and all departments were asked to 'go pink' for the day, wear pink to work and create displays for their departments based on the 5 Moments. Infection contol link nurses assisted with prizes for the best displays and a trophy for the winner. There were foyer displays to encourage participation by patients and visitors. A patient/visitor brochure has been produced based on the Clean Care is Safer Care message.

Bruce Rock Hospital in Western Australia celebrated 5 May with a range of activities, including a selection of displays and posters and a hand hygiene crossword for staff. There were also glitterbug activities, and computers set up to do online hand hygiene training.

Royal Perth Hospital in Western Australia initiated a range of activities to celebrate 5 May, including installing a modified screen saver introducing the WHO patient safety message and incorporating the Hand Hygiene Australia 5 moments on hospital computers. On 5 May there was medical round focusing on hand hygiene. The Infection Prevention Camp; Management Team also made ward visits wearing fun placards to promote hand hygiene. They were on the lookout for health-care workers demonstrating good practices and offered rewards to these. There wre also two prize competitions at the hospital; guess the number of hand hygiene badges in a jar and a hand hygiene questionnaire.

Presbyterian Aged Care “Wescott” in Stockton, New South Wales, celebrated 5 May with displays of hand hygiene posters in different languages.

Sydney Adventist Hospital held a hand hygiene awareness week on 20-24 April. This included glitterbug activities to assess both hand washing skills and how well staff covered their hands when using alcohol hand gel. Other activities included staff education on good hand hygiene practices, targeted doctor education and the creation and production of a visitor information leaflet. The hospital also created a hand print mural and asked staff who were committed to hand hygiene to place a hand print on the canvas and sign their name. These and other activities were all precursors to 5 May when the hospital again celebrated hand hygiene with glitterbug activities, displays and competitions.

Geraldton Hospital in Western Australia had a display in the staff dining room promoting hand hygiene and the 5 Moments with an opportunity for staff to practice their technique with the glitterbug. There were also giveaways including pens, stickers and balloons with a Bug Busters theme, a quiz for staff to complete to assess their knowledge of hand hygiene and the 5 Moments, and a computer with a slideshow of hand hygiene educational presentations.


In São Paulo, the Instituto da Criança at Hospital das Clínicas celebrated 5 May with displays and music about hand hygiene for patients as well as a programme of staff education. The hand hygiene team were on the look-out for health-care workers demonstrating good practices and offered rewards for excellence.

On 5 May Hospital Infantil Albert Sabin had an official presentation on hand hygiene centred on the WHO 5 Moments. This included musical and theatrical interludes. The facility hosted two workshops on hand hygiene for health-care workers as well as the public, and the wards and entrance foyer were decorated with displays, banners and posters featuring the 5 Moments.

Hospital Santa Casa de Misericórdia in Pará held several staff education meetings and a hand hygiene training workshop on 5 May, involving all critical care units, clinical and surgical wards. The hand hygiene team distributed educational folders and buttons for visitors and patients. A movie on the importance of hand hygiene was screened at the hospital and 300 bottles of alcohol-based hand rub were distributed to health-care workers.

Vila Alpina Hospital contributed to raising awareness of patient safety and infection control on 5 May by having all staff stop for 5mins to talk about the importance of the 5 Moments for Hand Hygiene. Staff were also encouraged to send emails to five friends in other health-care facilities to tell them about the importance of hand hygiene.


The Bulgarian National Reference Centre for HCAI prevention and control (NRC-HCAI, NCIPD) has informed and invited hospitals and facilities throughout the country about Save Lives: Clean Your Hands. Local educational and training workshops have been arranged in five regional hospitals with around 350 participants. Posters developed based on the WHO 5 Moments for Hand Hygiene were distributed to hospitals nationwide together with a hand hygiene knowledge survey. There was also an informational campaign through television and newspapers.


In Eastern Ontario, the Children’s Hospital celebrated 5 May with displays and a programme of staff education.

Delta View Life Enrichment Centre, a long-term care facility in Vancouver were having a march with posters saying ‘Save Lives, Wash Your Hands”. The posters and placards were carried around the facility and posted outside the building close to a main highway.

Providence Health Care in Vancouver, British Columbia, held a series of events on 5 May to celebrate this special occasion and to raise awareness of hand hygiene among staff, visitors and relatives. Activities included information on hand hygiene, glo-germ to see how well you wash your hands, quizzes and puzzles related to hand hygiene, a slideshow celebrating local hand hygiene champions, competition to win gift vouchers, free samples of hand sanitizer, spot prizes, goodies, a special hand hygiene newsletter and the opportunity to meet the Providence Health Care Infection Prevention and Control team.


On 5 May the Chilean Society of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology and the Association Professionals in Infection Control of Private Hospitals conducted a massive event with the assistance of health professionals around the country. The event was held at the University Andres Bello at 18.30 with a lecure on hand hygiene. The objective of the event was to motivate health-care workers and give them the tools to enhance hand hygiene in their facilities.


The Croatian campaign for implementation of WHO Hand Hygiene Multimodal Strategy was launched in Zagreb on 5 May at a symposium for 300 participants organised by the Reference Centre for Hospital Infections, Ministry of Health and Social Welfare of Croatia and the Section for HCAI prevention and control of the Croatian Society for Medical Microbiology and Parsitology. All infection control practitioners from the whole of Croatia were invited, as well as other interested health-care professionals. During the symposium, a hospital that has already introduced the WHO hand hygiene programme presented on progress. WHO materials, including the 5 Moments for Hand Hygiene poster translated into Croatian, were distributed.


The Egyptian Society of Infection Control (ESIC) together with the Eastern Mediterranean Regional Network of Infection Control (EMRNIC) organised a nationwide hand hygiene promotion on 5 May. This included a special poster encouraging health-care workers and patients to work together to improve hand hygiene. The poster will be sent to over 1000 hospitals in Egypt inviting their participation. There were scientific sessions, role plays, awards for best practice in infection control and promotions in non-health sectors where hand hygiene is important. Medical students were encouraged to participate in hand hygiene events at the Ain Shams Faculty of Medicine.

The Society for Practitioners of Infection Control, Egypt (SPICEGYPT) organized a scientific event for 5 May. It was held at the Ain Shams University Specialized Hospital. Emphasis was on awareness, training and implementation of hand hygiene using the WHO 5 Moments. Participants were from Cairo, AinShams, Benah University Hospitals, Tudor-Biharz Research Institutes and the General Organization of Teaching Hospitals and Institutes (GOTHI).

The Theodor Bilharz Research Institute in Cairo actively participated in country events on 5 May. Representatives of the Institute attended the event to be held at Ain Shams Hospital. In addition, hand hygiene audits are currently taking place at the Institute and the results were announced on 5 May. This work will contribute to the approach the Institute has developed to reduce health care-associated infections.

England, Wales and Northern Ireland

NHS organisations across England, Wales and Northern Ireland were encouraged to recognise 5 May. A letter was sent to the chief executives of all NHS organisations requesting their support. A fun and interactive electronic game based around the WHO My 5 Moments for Hand Hygiene was also developed for infection control staff to distribute within their organisations.

Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Hospitals used its widespread network of Infection Prevention and Control Link Nurses to get their colleagues to sign up to excellent practice for peripheral vascular access care and management, along with the 5 Moments for Hand Hygiene. The Infection Prevention and Control team also had a stand in main theatres to promote hand hygiene with give-aways and prizes of fob watches and sweets.


At the Turku University Hospital a special initiative was underway to reduce health care-associated infections in the haemodialysis unit where there are 119 patients. The project will observe hand hygiene routines and other procedures. There was a health-care knowledge survey and education about the right hand hygiene and aseptic routines. Follow-up studies will be done later.

The Hospital Hygiene and Infection Control unit at the Hospital District of Southwest Finland organised a hand hygiene campaign on 5 May. The campaign handed out hand hygiene leaflets and balloons made by helium-filled gloves to all 156 wards at six hospitals. The Hospital District of Southwest Finland has 1600 beds and 6300 staff.


France became another European country to sign the pledge for the first Global Patient Safety Challenge: Clean Care is Safer Care in an event at the Ministry of Health in Paris on 5 May.

The French programme «Mission mains propres» with the slogan «des mains désinfectées = des risques évités» consists of an information and awareness-raising campaign, and was launched in all health-care facilities in France on 5 May. The educational and training tools that have been developed can be accessed at the Ministry website:

The package of tools includes a statement for health-care facilities to formalize their commitment to improving hand hygiene, a poster and leaflet which promote hand hygiene practices using alcohol hand rub. In 2008, "Mission mains propres" only focused on hospitals and clinics while the 2009 campaign is targeted to a wider range of health-care facilities including nursing homes, homes for people with disabilities, general practioners' surgeries, paramedic training institutes, medical and dental schools.


Albertinen Hospital and Ev. Amalie Sieveking Hospital in Hamburg held briefings for visitors on 5 May as part of the German campaigns "Wir gegen Viren" and "Aktion Saubere Hände". Physicians, microbiologists and other health professionals staffed a hand hygiene stand and provided visitors to the hospitals with information about how to protect themselves from bacteria and viruses.

At the Max Grundig Klinik in Buhl, staff had the opportunity to test their hands with a UV lamp to see whether their hand hygiene was up to standard. Staff were also given an informal test about hand disinfection and were able to ask questions about the 5 Moments for Hand Hygiene and Aktion Saubere Hände.


Laikon General Hospital in Athens celebrated 5 May with hand hygiene poster displays all over the hospital. The hospital also distributed brochures about hand hygiene and made a presentation on the correct hygiene measures proposed by WHO in the hospital amphitheatre.


Fortis Escorts Hospital in Jaipur has developed a screensaver on best hand hygiene practices which is being displayed on all nursing stations in the hospital. A number of quizzes, games and poster competitions were arranged to celebrate 5 May, as well as an educational session.

Fortis Hospital Mohali planned a whole week of activities around 5 May. This included spreading the word on hand hygiene through a chain email for staff, a game aiming to "clean the hospital of dirty hands", as well as various hand hygiene demonstrations and sessions discussing the reasons behind poor compliance. The hospital also created screen savers based on hand hygiene posters.

At Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital in New Delhi, the chief administrator, chairman of the patient safety committee, the chiefs of microbiology and anesthesia & intensive care as well as the nurse coordinator and others signed a hand hygiene pledge. The hospital microbiologist made a presentation on hand hygiene and infection control and a painting featuring hands and multicoloured flowers was put on display in the hospital.

Kashyap Memorial Eye Hospital in Jharkhand, held presentations on hand hygiene involving patients, health-care workers and visitors. The hospital also involved the local press and media in spreading the message of clean hands.

Seth G. S Medical College and K. E. M Hospital in Mumbai sent a hand hygiene questionnaire to 300 staff to check their awareness of this important topic. Each participant received a copy of the WHO 5 Moments for Hand Hygiene and one-to-one feedback. The correct hand hygiene techniques were also demonstrated throughout the day.


Bethesda Hospital in Jogjakarta hosted a hand rub competition for all staff on 5 May. The hospital also drew staff's attention to the WHO Guidelines on Hand Hygiene in Health Care.

At Pasar rebo General Hospital the infection control committee informed staff and patients about hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette. There were poster displays, film screenings and presentations on how to wash your hands correctly, including for patients.


The South Informary-Victoria University Hospital in Cork used the number 5 as a key aspect of its promotion in the lead-up to and during 5 May. The event was highlighted for 5 days prior to 5 May. The hospital featured images of five staff disciplines carrying out hand hygiene. Education sessions were given to members of the public in 5 areas throughout the hospital and education sessions took place in 5 clinical areas. Finally, there was a public announcement on 5 different occasions throughout the day on 5 May, concluding at 5 minutes to 5pm.

At Galway University Hospitals in the west of Ireland a number of events were organized for 5 May, for both patients, the public and staff. These included hand massages, a children’s art competition, a handprint message board, as well as hand hygiene quizzes, educational sessions and demonstrations. Staff were invited to take part in a competition to design a new hand hygiene poster.

Mercy University Hospital in Cork celebrated 5 May with a week of activities. These included dedicating the monthly infection control message to hand hygiene and placing these at strategic points throughout the hospital. In addition hand hygiene training was set up with the use of a glow germ cabinet. The hospital also did random Agar Plating of staff throughout this week.


Staff at the King Abdullah University Hospital in Jordan recognized the importance of 5 May this year with a hand hygiene programme. All staff were invited to attend a training session to better understand the importance of hand hygiene and to learn the exact techniques.

The Al-Mafraq Gynecology & Pediatrics Hospital celebrated 5 May this year with hand hygiene programmes. The hospital infection control team demonstrated best practices in hand hygine in front of all hospital staff.


Kijabe Hospital arranged a series of seminars on health care-associated infections and hand hygiene to celebrate 5 May. With the National Nurses Association of Kenya, hospital staff visited community clinics and schools to talk about hand hygiene and cough etiquette.


Lhaviyani Atoll Hospital held a meeting for all staff on the morning of 5 May to highlight the benefits of hand hygiene and explain about the measures being implemented in the hospital. Information on when and how to do hand hygiene was broadcast on screens throughout the hospital for all staff and patients to see.


Mater Dei Hospital celebrated 5 May with a poster display. Visitors were given bookmarks highlighting the contribution they can make to hand hygiene and hospital staff were given copies of the WHO 5 Moments for Hand Hygiene leaflet. There was also a ministerial press conference.


At the Fortis Clinique Darne Hospital, several activities were planned in the lead up to 5 May and on the day itself. A workshop on hand hygiene was held on Friday 24 April to stimulate interest in the programme. This was followed by a morning event on 5 May with a guest speaker and a poster competition. The emphasis was on the correct techniques of hand hygiene to protect patients and staff from the risk of contamination.


Harmony Hospital & CoHEDA in Awka has promoted the concept of hand hygiene in a number of innovative ways: Hospital staff gave a 30 min talk on Radio Nigeria Awka on the benefits of hand washing and also had a discussing with staff on this. Posters featuring hand washing were displayed at strategic points throughout the facility and the SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands information was emailed to all members of the local medical association.

Lagoon Hospitals Group in Lagos appointed hand hygiene champions who were tasked with talking to staff about hand hygiene and encouraging staff to clean their hands at the appropriate times. Some of the champions also did outreach in other hospitals throughout the city to spread the word. The Lagoon hospitals were decorated with the WHO posters and materials and all staff were given a badge to wear inviting patients to approach them and "Ask me if I have cleaned my hands". A short talk was also given at the 5 May meeting of the Society for Healthcare Quality in Nigeria.


A campaign 'Give me Five' using the well-known 'give-me-five' hand sign as the central element was initiated on 5 May at Rikshospitalet in Oslo. A number of staff at the hospital, spanning all professions, have been photographed with one hand lifed in the typical 'high five' position. These images were used together with the WHO My 5 Moments for Hand Hygiene and other motivational materials. There was a focus on the removal of hand and wrist jewellery following a recent local health-care study which demonstrated that finger rings and watches contribute to the risk of carrying potentially pathogenic bacteria. Several slogans have been developed centred on 'Give me five.'


The 1200-bedded Nishtar Hospital in Multan hosted an event on 5 May to focus on the importance of hand hygiene. Alcohol-based hand rub and posters with the WHO Five Moments were distributed to health-care workers.

On 23 May Social Organization for the Advancement of Community Health delivered a training workshop on hand hygiene in UVAS, Lahore. 73 faculty members and 135 students were trained during the workshop. The worshop covered issues such as good hand hygiene, the importance of the 5 moments, how to hand wash and how to handrub.


Centro Medico Paitilla held two hospital-wide educational sessions on 5 May to underscore the importance of hand hygiene in patient safety. This was open to all administrative and health-care staff, patients and their families. The objectives of the sessions were to promote SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands and teach attendees about the appropriate moments and methods for hand hygiene. The hospital also provided information about influenza A(H1N1) during the sessions.


At the Edgardo Rebagliati Martins Hospital in Lima major hand hygiene promotions took place for its 5000 staff. This included education and promotion for all executive staff, doctors and nurses. There was ongoing demonstrations about best practice in hand hygiene and distribution of leaflets about the 5 Moments.

The National Cancer Centre (Instituto Nacional de Enfermedades Neoplasicas) of Peru announced its support for Save Lives: Clean Your Hands at an event attended by the institute's 1000 staff and other health professionals. Activities included the start of the WHO hand hygiene multi-modal strategy and demonstrations of hand cleaning methods and products by businesses and suppliers.


In Alabang, Muntinlupa, the Asian Hospital and Medical Centre held a two day event celebrating Save Lives: Clean Your Hands. 114 people attended the launch day and gave good feedback about the project. The hospital emphasized the importance of hand washing and respiratory etiquette. 62 children took part in the KiDz Day Programme, enjoying the storytelling sessions and hand paint activity, and being taught the proper way of washing the hands. During the afternoon, 60 employees from all around the hospital attended a lecture discussing surgical hand washing and the WHO 5 Moments of Hand Hygiene.

Saudi Arabia

Saudi German Hospital Aseer held a large staff meeting on 5 May, as well as smaller forums, to discuss hand hygiene. They also provided handouts for patients on the importance of infection control, including hand hygiene, and a video showing how to do hand washing on the hospital intra-network. The hospital has already started measuring their hand hygiene compliance rate.

Mouwasat Hospital-Jubail held a range of hand hygiene workshops, lectures and in-service training on and around 5 May 2009. This included hand hygiene compliance monitoring as one of the hospital's quality indicators. Mouwasat is a 120-bed facility with ICU, NICU, labour and delivery unit, as well as four operating rooms and 36 outpatient clinics.


Scotland's hand hygiene campaign Germs. Wash Your Hands of Them has grown from strength to strength since its official launch at the start of 2007. For 5 May, a number of local and national activities were planned to further highlight the campaign and the WHO Patient Safety Initiative. Scotland has produced a DVD entitled "Improving Hand Hygiene, The Challenges and Successes in Scotland", featured information about Save Lives: Clean Your Hands in a range of Scottish publications and distributed branded post-it pads and pens to create awareness. Local hand hygiene co-ordinators in all NHS Scotland Boards also planned a range of local events and activities to celebrate 5 May.


In Dakar a day long workshop was held at Dakar Central Hospital for directors of district hospitals around the country, infection control professionals from the Dakar Central Hospital and the director and staff from the National Pharmacy. The day included endorsement of the WHO multimodal strategy for hand hygiene and a confirmation of the start of the national production of the WHO alcohol based hand rub formulation.


On 5 May Health Center Pozega, Medical Center Uzice launched their hand hygiene campaign with educational and medical training for about 1000 people. Posters have been developed locally based on the WHO 5 Moments for Hand Hygiene and there will also be an informational campaign on local TV and radio.


In Slovakia, the Regional Public Health Authorities promoted hand hygiene on 5 May in conjunction with other health institutions and health educational institutions. They also liaised with the media to ensure public engagement. Hand hygiene materials were disseminated to health-care workers and patients.

South Africa

At Netcare Umhlanga Hospital, hand hygiene was highlighted on 5 May with a number of activities. Random hand washing audits were practised on as many staff as possible from every unit/patient care area. The glow lamp test was performed on staff that have undergone the handwashing audits and on staff that have not washed their hands. The aim was to illustrate and create awareness of the importance of effective hand hygiene.

Hand hygiene was highlighted starting on 4 May at Alberlito Hospital with hand washing audits on nursing and non-nursing staff. Glow lamp testing was also performed. On 5 May itself, there were visual presentations as well as talks on hand washing. The aim was to illustrate the importance of the topic and also create to awareness about hand washing.

At Cape Town Medi-Clinic hand hygiene was re-enforced with information on the correct hand washing procedure which was distributed to all wards and departments on 30 April. On 5 May the ‘glow test’ machine was taken to all wards and departments, and staff were asked to participate by washing their hands and being tested for efficacy while actually working in their wards.

Sandringham Gardens had over one hundred staff, including the directors, attend the training unit in one hour where they made a collage of handprints. The staff each got a pamphlet with instructions on how to do correct hand hygiene and they each washed their hands in the training unit.


Since 2006 when Spain signed the pledge supporting the WHO First Patient Safety Global Challenge, it has dedicated more than 30 million euro for patient safety initiatives throughout the country. Currently at least 176 acute care hospitals, 31 long term care centre, 1,980 primary care centres and 186 emergency services are carrying out hand hygiene programmes and activities.

Supporting 5 May is an important consideration for Spain and specific materials have been distributed to health facilities, many of whom organised individual events for the day in 2009.

The Ministry of Health has also contributed to profiling the day with a large poster and information on its website:

Mollet del Vallès Hospital, a 120 bed hospital in Barcelona, promoted 5 May with a range of poster displays, hand hygiene demonstrations and ultraviolet lamps. The hospital has also run a six-month hand hygiene campaign for staff.

At the 1090-bed tertiary care Ramon y Cajal Hospital in Madrid, several activities took place on 5 May. These included five workshops about hand hygiene - its history, WHO recommendations, the importance of hand hygiene in preventing health care-associated infections, handwashing and alcohol-based hand rub application techniques and use of gloves. In addition, there was a special announcement on the organisation's intranet for all staff. Posters, leaflets and alcohol handrub personal dispensers were given to staff, as well as hand-shaped fans.

Several activities took place on 5 May at the 100-bed Hospital Comarcal de Valdeorras in Ourense, Galicia. These included posting a message on the hospital intranet to all staff reminding them of the importance of hand hygiene in preventing health care-associated infections. Pins and brochures with the logo “'Clean Hands Save Lives” were also distributed. Finally, there was a special presentation in the local radio about hand hygiene.

At the General hospital, Ciudad Real, a special event 'La Higiene de manos salva vidas' was held on 5 May. An action plan was presented to promote hand hygiene to health professionals and patients. A special website has been created where professionals will have access to videos, leaflets and where they can make suggestions and recommendations. An artist has also painted a picture that can be used as a logo for the campaign. Information was distributed internally via the intranet to all staff and also highlighted in local newspapers and television.

The Catalan Ministry of Health sent out an information sheet and materials to all hospitals to explain the activities that the Catalan Government has planned for 5 May, and ask the hospitals to register for Save Lives: Clean Your Hands. Two poster exhibitions were also opened on 5 May and will travel round Catalan hospitals during 2009. More information about the Catalan activities are available below.

At the Complexo Hospitalario Universitario de Santiago de Compostela a range of activities took place on 5 May to promote hand hygiene among health-care staff, patients and the general public. Health-care staff were given alcohol-based hand rub pocket dispensers and a survey to test their hand hygiene knowledge. Hand hygiene demonstrations took place in the main hall of the hospital. The hospital also hosted a press conference to announce the importance of hand hygiene to improve public health in general and, more particularly, to fight infection.

The Health Department of the Galician Autonomous Community developed a strategy to increase patient safety with the aim of making professionals aware of and trained in the importance of proper hand hygiene. On 5 May the Health Minister participated in a press conference and leaflets were distributed in all regional health care centres.

H. Regional Universitario Carlos-Haya-SAS in Malaga celebrated 5 May with a range of local activities, including three days of lectures on infection control and hand hygiene.

At 620-bed tertiary care hospital Hospital Universitario "Rio Hortega" in Valladolid, 5 May was highlighted by a general hospital seminar, led by the Infection Control Committee and the Quality Unit. The seminar gave clinical and surgical staff the opportunity to discuss the problem of lack of proper hand hygiene. There were also hand hygiene-related posters disseminated in the hospital and there was a special announcement on the organisation's intranet for all staff.


Congratulations to Sweden which became the 119th country to pledge support for the First Global Patient Safety Challenge: Clean Care is Safer Care on 21 April. Signing the pledge, the Minister for Health & Social Affairs Göran Hägglund stressed the importance of hand hygiene and commented that there is always room for improvement.

Örebro County Council invited the three hospitals in their area to promote hand hygiene to all staff. Patients were also informed about the importance of hand hygiene in infection control.

Jönköping County Council invited its three hospitals to promote hand hygiene among all staff. Patients were also informed about the importance of their own hand hygiene. There were presentation of new campaign materials, which also includex results of health-care workers' compliance with hand hygiene practies. These rates have been measured monthly since 2007.


At the Clinique Générale Beaulieu in Geneva, hand hygiene was profiled with animations, a slide show, demonstrations and practices, particularly around the 5 Moments for Hand Hygiene.

At the Hirslanden Clinic's Bois-Cerf and Cecil in Lausanne, hand hygiene was highlighted on 5 May with actions involving the 5 Moments for Hand Hygiene and the visit of the hygiene control nurse to all the units of the two clinics. A video clip was distributed to all staff via their email and hand hygiene utensils were distributed to health-care workers and patients. A hand-shaped cake was given to patients and health-care staff to remind them of the importance of the ritual of hand hygiene.


Turkey planned a national hand hygiene campaign which is being coordinated by the Refik Saydam National Hygiene Centre in liaison with the General Directorate of Curative Services, Department of Performance Management and Quality Development and the General Directorate of Primary Health Care Services. The theme of the campaign is 'danger is in the hands' and it is designed to raise awareness of the importance of hand hygiene in reducing health care-associated infections and improve hand hygiene compliance among hospital staff. Materials include My 5 Moments for Hand Hygiene, a training CD and general guidelines on hand hygiene.

United States of America

At St Joseph's Mercy Center (Hot Springs, AR) and PDI Healthcare (Orangeburg NY), community-wide programmes were organised for 5 May focusing on the 5 Moments for Hand Hygiene. Health-care providers, senior citizens, hospital volunteers, staff and children within the local school district were all involved.

Unique ways of highlighting and promoting hand hygiene were developed for 5 May by Sheppard Pratt Health Systems in Towson using their infection control patrol group known as the Yellow Beaders. Using the hands of some of the staff, posters were reproduced and the best pair of hands added to the main poster on hand hygiene. A 20 minute DVD was shown throughout the day with opportunities for interactive sessions.

The State of South Carolina launched a new hand hygiene campaign in its 97 public and private hospitals on 5 May. The campaign is based on the WHO multimodal hand hygiene strategy with the emphasis on 'My 5 Moments for Hand Hygiene.' A webinar was held on the day with keynotes addresses and links with Dr Peter Pronovost at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore and Professor Didier Pittet, Geneva and discussions from a clinical and patient perspective.

Hancock Medical Center in St. Louis, Mississippi, publicized their hand hygiene campaign in their local newspaper on 5 May and on the hospital’s website. The hospital-wide hand hygiene campaign is focused on the 5 Moments for Hand Hygiene.

Local media, the hospital and in particular, the Department of Surgical Services at the San Luis Valley Regional Medical Center promoted hand hygiene on 5 May. Posters were placed throughout the facility including within patient care areas. Patients were also given individually wrapped handwipes with a special label inviting them to wash their hands and save lives.

Parkland Health & Hospital System in Dallas, Texas kicked off new initiatives by handing out pocket cards imprinted with "My Five Moments of Hand Hygiene". Employees and physicians who promoted good hand hygiene practices were recognized with a "High Five" award from Infection Control, which included a certificate and coffee mug with the high five logo. Other small rewards were planned for various departments and patient care locations throughout the year, beginning with the inpatient units on 5 May.

Passavant Area Hospital in Jacksonville has played several hand hygiene videos on continuous loops at strategic points throughout the hospital to catch the attention of both staff, patients and visitors.

Bridgeport Hospital in Connecticut is ramping up its “Hand Hygiene Ambassador” programme. Front line staff have become leaders among their peers to take a special role in modeling, shaping and reinforcing “Hand Hygiene Heroes.” Using a “6 stage Influence Model”, they are highlighting the ease of hand hygiene with the personal motivation of providing the best care; peers have the power to reward good hand hygiene with “Wow bucks” and the skills to have the “Crucial Conversation” when someone falls short. This is in conjunction with the “Clean in / Clean Out” campaign (which emphasizes the use of the alcohol based hand sanitizer or washing with soap and water for resistant bacteria) on top of a hospital commitment to consistent hand hygiene as a cornerstone of all care provided.

Viet Nam

Viet Nam became the 118th country to pledge its support for the first Global Patient Safety Challenge, Clean Care is Safer Care. The signing event took place at the Ministry of Health on 20 April.