Clean Care is Safer Care

WHO CleanHandsNet - Information on participation

As part of the programme implementation for Clean Care is Safer Care, we would like to encourage nations and sub-nations to develop coordinated strategies to promote hand hygiene. To facilitate this, we hope to bring the leads of these together in an informal network - referred to as WHO CleanHandsNet.


The overall vision of WHO CleanHandsNet is to support the WHO Clean Care is Safer Care initiative to reduce risk, morbidity and mortality related to health care-associated infection (HAI) by making hand hygiene the key and essential basis through effective collaboration.


By sharing with and learning from each other, this informal network will strengthen and support efforts and actions which contribute to sustained behavior change of health-care workers through increased hand hygiene compliance. This will help contribute to the reduction of HAI and the safety of patients globally.

This mission will be achieved by working on the following areas that link with the overall direction of Clean Care is Safer Care:

  • Networking and communication
  • Technical support
  • Evaluation and feed back
  • Research and development
  • Education and training.

Participation in the network

WHO CleanHandsNet is a voluntary informal collaborative arrangement comprised of WHO Secretariat staff and coordinators/leaders/representatives of hand hygiene improvement activities coordinated at a national or sub-national level and currently being implemented or in advanced stages of planning .

Participation is open to coordinators/leaders/representatives of such activities as evidenced by:

  • At least a national/sub national committee or an identified national/sub national lead/ coordinator currently facilitating coordinated activities to promote hand hygiene in health care as a sole activity or as a part of activities to reduce HCAI or improve patient safety.
  • Identifiable resources available for continuing the activity.
  • Demonstrable support from government - for example, government committed to at least part-funding of relevant activity.

Only one person willing to contribute to the goal, objectives and function of this informal network can be nominated as the primary contact by each nationally/sub-nationally coordinated activity. Such nominated representatives should have close involvement and/or expertise in the arena of hand hygiene improvement and HAI control at a national/sub-national level.

Functioning of the informal network

Participants can withdraw at any time from this informal network by notifying the Secretariat in writing.

WHO Clean Care is Safer Care reserves the right to review participation in the network. Decisions on termination of participation of any participant or observer in any component of the network shall be made by the WHO Secretariat.

This informal network does not have legal personality and it is not a legal entity. Accordingly, it cannot undertake any action in its own name.

The operations of the informal network will be guided by principles and policies acceptable by WHO. Some of these are mentioned below:

  • The activities of WHO CleanHandsNet shall in all respects be conducted and administered in accordance with the WHO Constitution, WHO’s Financial and Staff Regulations and Rules, Manual provisions, and applicable policies, procedures and practices (the “WHO Rules”). In addition, all WHO activities relating to WHO CleanHandsNet shall be subject to availability of sufficient resources and WHO's priority of work.
  • The network will be supported by web based communications tools hosted within the WHO IT network.
  • In addition, subject to availability of funding, experience and input from key stakeholders including Clean Care is Safer Care Core Group of experts, WHO CleanHandsNet will consider the establishment of various functional working groups and a funding mechanism(s) to support the functioning of the network and implementation of its action plan.
  • Those participating must not represent themselves in their work in such as way as to infer, either expressly or by omission, that they are acting as representatives of WHO or with WHO approval (except when formally asked to do so by the WHO Clean Care is Safer Care Team).
  • The WHO Patient Safety Programme, Clean Care is Safer Care will be the Secretariat of the network.
  • There is no fee associated with participating in the network.
  • The campaigns/programmes are expected to meet their own costs, for example to attend meetings, except where WHO rules for funding, e.g. to low income countries, are applied.
  • In-country activities should be self-funded.
  • Under no circumstances shall WHO be responsible for any damages, losses, costs and expenses (including legal fees and costs) arising out of claims and liabilities that arise or result from activities carried out by WHO CleanHandsNet members in the name of WHO CleanHandsNet.

Sub-national is a whole state/region/province within a nation. National involves multiple regions/states/provinces within a nation or the whole nation.

A coordinated activity can be a programme- structured and integrated into health systems with a long-term vision; or a campaign - a broad nationally/sub-nationally driven/led/coordinated activity; or a combination of both.