Update No 7
Outbreak of Influenza A (H1N1)
This week as everyone will be aware, WHO has scaled up the current outbreak of influenza A (H1N1) to phase 5, reflecting the need for countries to begin implementing their pandemic plans.
Infection control plays a vital role at this time and many of our team in Patient Safety are assigned to help with technical expertise to develop key messages and contribute to the broader body of knowledge that WHO requires. At this time, it becomes even more relevant to emphasise good hand hygiene in health care facilities.
Launch 5 May
In many countries around the world, hospitals and healthcare facilities will be highlighting the importance of hand hygiene on 5 May 2009. We send you our best wishes for great success on the day, not only with the promotional, educational and visual activities that will take place for staff, but also for patients and visitors. Now is a real opportunity to press home the message that good hand hygiene saves lives. You can see the many events and activities that are planned to take place around the world next week on the website.
In Geneva, we will be launching the WHO Guidelines on Hand Hygiene in Health Care, and the revised Hand Hygiene Implementation Toolkit. Feel free to access these and download them from our website.
Hand Hygiene Key Message
Recognising the importance of hand hygiene has meant that we now have a message from Didier Pittet on the Patient Safety website. We encourage everyone to forward this link and the message to staff in your organization.
Registrations for SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands have risen substantially even this week, and we now have a total of 4471 health-care facilities registered with a combined staff of over 3.34 million and more than 1.47 million beds. The health-care facilities are from 112 different countries and territories.
Thank You To Everyone
The next steps for SAVE LIVES Clean Your Hands will be mapped out in coming weeks including the new date for the Geneva meeting, how to maintain the network that has now been established with the thousands of healthcare facilities that have registered, and how we can maintain the momentum of hand hygiene as a critical success factor in reducing health care-associated infections throughout the world.
Dr Cyrus Engineer
Project Lead, SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands