Clean Care is Safer Care

Ten years of Clean Care is Safer Care – 2005-2015

A global call to action for health workers, ministries of health, leaders and patients

What has been achieved across the world through Clean Care is Safer Care since 2005? Here we feature just some of the key achievements.



You can use the #CLEANHANDS10 image as your social media avatar:

139 ministries of health have pledged to promote Clean Care is Safer Care. Whether you live in a country that has already pledged or one that has not, you can use this strong international commitment spreading across the world to push for clean care to remain at the top of the agenda in health ministries or health-care facilities.

Almost 18 000 health facilities in 179 countries have joined the WHO SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands campaign.

Over 50 countries recognize the importance of hand hygiene through their own national campaigns – this work needs to carry on.

Thank you!

WHO thanks many organizations and individuals for their commitment, without which the impact on patient safety would not have been achieved. Each year, many feature links to WHO’s SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands campaign. WHO Collaborating Centres have played a key role in this work too, in particular the WHO Collaborating Centre on Patient Safety, led by Professor Didier Pittet.

Patients for Patients Safety, another WHO programme, was also launched in 2005. Clean Care is Safer Care work has put a focus on patient engagement as a way of tackling hand hygiene improvement. We are grateful to those who have ensured that this important work has a patient focus too.

The Clean Care is Safer Care programme

An improvement approach for health care was developed and tested.

Use of the multimodal improvement approach is still evident in countries today with over 50 tools in a package that aims to achieve behaviour change amongst health-care facility staff.

Outlining the evidence was a big part of CCiSC and there have been many articles published by many authors over the last decade – this can persuade health workers of the continued need for hand hygiene action.

Progress has been monitored over recent years.

In 2009, the SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands campaign was officially launched to maintain a global profile on hand hygiene. In 2015, a massive surge in interest in and commitment to hand hygiene was again seen through this 5 May campaign in the form of #safeHANDS, when thousands of people sent a strong message across the world. The global reach was approximately 39 million, based on social media analytics.

In recent years, WHO has made it clear that hand hygiene is not a standalone action. When properly embedded in the health-care workflow, it prevents infections from care interventions and antimicrobial resistant (AMR) organisms. In 2014, posters were created to emphasize this.

In 2015, WHO also demonstrated how hand hygiene was a critical part of controlling the Ebola outbreak.

After this decade of concerted efforts, WHO's alcohol-based handrub formulation was added to the WHO Essential Medicine List in 2015. This could have a huge impact on how low- and middle-income countries can access this life-saving product.

Finally, for you – 10 years – 10 reasons to stay dedicated to Clean Care is Safer Care.

Almost 18 000 health facilities have joined the SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands campaign – we need more to do so still.

Key videos

#safeHANDS promotional video