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SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands

World Health Organization's SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands campaign banner

5 May is World Hand Hygiene Day

Hand hygiene saves millions of lives every year when performed at the right moments during healthcare delivery. It is also a smart investment that offers exceptional returns on investment. Clean care is a sign of respect to those who seek care, and it also protects the health of other workers who provide that care.

Now is a critical time when countries across the world need to accelerate the implementation of lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic and increase investments to close gaps in infection prevention and control (IPC), including hand hygiene. Indeed, many countries are demonstrating strong engagement and advancements in scaling up those actions, but overall, the progress is slow, and gains are at risk.


Each year, the World Health Organization's SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands campaign aims to progress the goal of maintaining a global profile on the importance of hand hygiene in health care and to ‘bring people together’ in support of hand hygiene improvement globally.

The WHO calls on everyone to be inspired by the global movement to achieve universal health coverage (UHC), i.e. achieving better health and well-being for all people at all ages, including financial risk protection, access to quality essential healthcare services and access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all. Infection Prevention and Control, including hand hygiene, is critical to achieving UHC as it is a practical and evidence-based approach with demonstrated impact on quality of care and patient safety across all levels of the health system.



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