Infection prevention and control

SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands 5 May 2016



Improving hand hygiene practices in all surgical services through the continuum of care, from surgical wards to operating theatres, to outpatient surgical services, is the primary focus of this year’s 5 May campaign.

WHO products for 5 May 2016:

  • The 5 May 2016 promotional poster.
  • A poster to promote infection prevention and surgical teams working together on hand hygiene – this year’s photo opportunity!
  • An infographic image featuring messages on surgical site infections and their prevention.
  • A new educational poster – ‘My 5 Moments for Hand Hygiene Focus on caring for a patient with a post-operative wound’.
  • A #safesurgicalhands promotional board to use for your photo opportunity – you can download and print or save to a tablet device.
  • An avatar to use on your social media accounts. Download here and use them as your your profile pictures (or overlay the image on top of your profile picture) to show your support for 5 May.
  • A website link where you can view your #safesurgicalhands photos.
  • A video message from WHO to be used at your 5 May events and focused on this year’s theme.
  • The opportunity to join leading global expert Professor Didier Pittet’s 5 May “Webber teleclass” – you can register for it here!
  • The SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands newsletter, aimed at keeping everyone updated and to encourage more health facilities to sign up to the campaign if they have not already done so – can we achieve a registered health facility in every single country of the world? You can encourage people to sign up here.

If you feature the link http://www.who.int/gpsc/5may/en/ on your own web pages WHO will acknowledge your work by providing a link to your web pages. On social media (primarily Twitter), Professor Didier Pitter (@didierpittet) and Claire Kilpatrick (@claireekt) look forward to engaging with many people who will be supporting 5 May through messaging and posting of photographs.

Preventing infections and reducing an avoidable burden on health systems is still critical around the world today and is part of making sure every health-care setting is safe for treating every single patient. Surgical patients are at risk of health care-associated infections (HAI), in particular surgical site infections (SSI) and device-associated infections (e.g. catheter-associated urinary tract infection). SSIs are a burden on every health-care facility as featured in this WHO report from 2011.

The first Global guideline on surgical site infection prevention will be issued by WHO later in 2016. This work fits neatly with and builds upon the goals of two previous WHO global patient safety challenges, Clean Care is Safer Care and Safe Surgery Save Lives.

An on-going focus on hand hygiene improvement in all areas

Hand hygiene in health care at the right time saves lives. The WHO Hand Hygiene Improvement Toolkit is available to support anyone, in any setting, to participate in this global movement.

Considering the priority of hand hygiene improvement in a broader context, 5 May 2016 also aims to support the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) agenda, given that 35% of health-care facilities still do not have soap and water for hand hygiene, among other things. Find out more here.

WHO works with many key stakeholders to make the campaign successful every 5 May. This includes the WHO Collaborating Centre at the University Hospitals, Geneva (which Professor Didier Pittet leads), many national organizations, ministries of health, infection prevention societies and Private Organisations for Patient Safety (POPS). Thank you in advance for your support.

Stories from the field – hand hygiene campaigning

Setting up a hand hygiene campaign and project in support of HAI reduction
Thanks to Dra. Lilia Cote Estrada, Institute of Social Security, Mexico.