Clean Care is Safer Care

Global Handwashing Day

15 October 2008

The first-ever Global Handwashing Day will take place on Wednesday, October 15, 2008. The UN General Assembly has designated 2008 the International Year of Sanitation, and Global Handwashing Day will echo and reinforce its call for improved hygiene practices. Global Handwashing Day will be the centerpiece of a week of activities that will mobilize millions of people in more than 20 countries across five continents to wash their hands with soap.

The First Global Patient Safety Challenge, Clean Care is Safer Care, is happy to support the ethos of this Day. WHO's Clean Care is Safer Care programme is concerned with improving hand hygiene everywhere in the world where health care is delivered. In particular, in health care we recommend the use of alcohol-based handrub as the preferred means for routine hand antisepsis in clinical situations, unless hands are visibly dirty or soiled with body fluids or in case of exposure to potential spore-forming pathogens, including outbreaks of Clostridium difficile. We welcome any related initiative which advocates for better hand hygiene beyond health care, including the pioneering work of the Global Public Private Partnership for Handwashing with Soap.