Today the World Health Organization (WHO) has launched an important global hand hygiene initiative, SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands. Hand hygiene is a critical factor in reducing health care-associated infections (HCAI) and, as such, this evidence based initiative has been developed to support health-care workers everywhere to improve hand hygiene and stop the spread of infection.
The current global outbreak of influenza A (H1N1) is an important reminder to all health-care workers regardless of their location, and indeed to the public in general, that good hand hygiene is vital.
More than 4500 health-care facilities globally are supporting this new initiative and many are using 5 May this year to highlight and promote hand hygiene, the correct techniques and how to inform and educate health-care staff as well as patients and the general public.
Significantly, the WHO Guidelines on Hand Hygiene in Health Care will be launched today together with a revised suite of hand hygiene implementation tools which will be available for download at no cost from the following website www.who.int/gpsc/en/
At this time of influenza spread, taking the simple steps of hand hygiene at the right time in the right place and the right way will contribute to reducing the level of health care-associated infections world wide and thereby contribute to reducing the global burden of disease.