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World Hand Hygiene Day
World Hand Hygiene Day

World Hand Hygiene Day, marked globally on 5 May, highlights the importance of hand hygiene in health care. The slogan of this year's campaign is “Fight antibiotic resistance … ... A key component of which is adequate hand hygiene, which plays a critical role in combating antimicrobial resistance.

World Health Organization want action to be taken by:

  • WHO want health workers to clean their hands at the right times, building on hand hygiene improvement efforts made up to now;

  • WHO want chief executive officers and managers to support hand hygiene campaigning and infection prevention and control programmes, to protect patients from antibiotic-resistant infections;

  • WHO want IPC leaders to lead hand hygiene campaigning and start their journey of meeting the core components for infection prevention and control;

  • WHO want policy makers to stop antibiotic resistance spread by demonstrating national support and commitment to infection prevention.

 - by WHO

Washing Hands, Saves Lives

Clean Hands Save Lives

Handwashing is a cornerstone of public health. Keeping hands clean is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. Here are three important facts you should know about handwashing.


1. Washing Hands with water is not enough!

  • Washing hands with water alone, a common practice around the world, is significantly less effective than washing hands with soap. 

  • Proper handwashing requires soap and only a small amount of water. 

  • Using soap works by breaking down the grease and dirt that carry most germs, facilitating the rubbing and friction that dislodge them and leaving hands smelling pleasant. 

  • With proper use, all soaps are equally effective at rinsing away disease-causing germs.

2. Handwashing with soap can prevent diseases that kill millions.

  • Handwashing with soap is among the most effective ways to prevent diarrheal diseases and pneumonia, which together are responsible for the majority of child deaths. 

  • Handwashing can also prevent skin infections, eye infections, intestinal worms, SARS and Avian Flu, and benefits the health of people living with HIV. 

  • Handwashing is effective in preventing the spread of disease even in overcrowded, highly contaminated slum environments, research shows.


3. The critical moments for handwashing with soap are after using the toilet or cleaning a child and before handling food.

  • Hands are the principal carriers of disease-causing germs. 

  • Hands should be washed with soap before preparing or eating food as well as before and after treating a cut or wound.

  • Hands should also be washed with soap after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing; after using the toilet, after changing diapers as well as after cleaning a child’s bottom. 

  • Hands should also be washed with soap after handling garbage, an animal or animal waste.

  • It is important to ensure that you wash your hands at these critical moments. 

  • Remember: If soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based gel to clean hands.

 - by UNICEF

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