As described by the World Health Organization (WHO), the SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands global campaign, launched in 2009 and celebrated annually on 5 May aims to maintain global promotion, visibility and sustainability of hand hygiene in health care and to ‘bring people together’ in support of hand hygiene improvement around the world.
For World Hand Hygiene Day 2021, WHO calls on health care workers and facilities to achieve effective hand hygiene action at the point of care. The point of care refers to the place where three elements come together: the patient, the health care worker, and care or treatment involving contact with the patient or their surroundings. To be effective and prevent transmission of infectious microorganisms during health care delivery, hand hygiene should be performed when it is needed (at 5 specific moments) and in the most effective way (by using the right technique with readily available products) at the point of care. This can be achieved by:
- Using the WHO multimodal hand hygiene improvement strategy.
- Engage multiple audiences, highlighting their role in achieving effective hand hygiene action at the point of care.
- Supporting implementation of the WHO 2020 recommendation for universal hand hygiene and of the WHO/UNICEF Hand Hygiene for All initiative in health care facilities.
- Utilizing the most effective actions to reduce the spread of pathogens and prevent infections, including the COVID-19 virus. Who Saves Lives: Clean Your Hands in the Context of COVID-19 promotes the WHO global hand hygiene campaign and provides rapid technical guidance.