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WHO Save lives: clean your hands global annual campaign

Date: 5 May 2012

Each year, hundreds of millions of patients all around the world are affected by health care-associated infections (HCAI). Although HCAI is the most frequent adverse event in health care, its true global burden has been unknown because of the difficulty in gathering reliable data. However, recent work by WHO and others highlights that developing countries are more affected. Most health care-associated infections are preventable through good hand hygiene – health-care workers cleaning hands, at the right times and in the right way.

The Save Lives: clean your hands global annual campaign, launched in 2009, is a day in which WHO is committed to 'bringing people together to improve and sustain hand hygiene'. Overall it is an opportunity to:

  • be part of a global movement to improve hand hygiene and receive acknowledgement of this from WHO;
  • be one of the leaders helping to prevent HCAI in your country; subsequently saving lives;
  • receive support for moving from commitment to action at the point of patient care;
  • share your knowledge and successes with others;
  • join a network of countries that have already committed to sustained hand hygiene campaigning; and
  • demonstrate your commitment to making patient safety a priority.

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