Kolkata, May 5 : Celebrated every year on May 5, Hand Hygiene Day mobilizes people around the world to increase adherence to hand hygiene in healthcare facilities, thus protecting healthcare workers and patients from infections. This year, the campaign theme “Save lives: Clean your hands”, is aligned with the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife, and aims to recognize nurses and midwives as front-line heroes who deserve acknowledgement and appreciation, and highlight their critical roles in infection prevention.
The main goal of the Global Hand Hygiene Day campaign is to recognize that handwashing is one of the most effective actions you can take to reduce the spread of pathogens and prevent infections, including the COVID-19 virus. Health workers and community members alike can play a role in preventing infections by practicing regular and frequent handwashing. As part of the 2020 campaign, WHO and partners aim to: Make hand hygiene a global priority, Inspire hand hygiene and behavior change and Engage with health care workers in their role in clean care and the prevention of infections.
The campaign also makes a call to action to policy-makers to provide safe work environments for nurses and improve staffing levels. Additionally, it calls on infection prevention and control leaders to empower nurses and midwives in providing clean care. The campaign also contributes to the United Nations Secretary General’s Global Call to Action on WASH in health care facilities. The hands of health care workers (HCWs) play a critical role in keeping patients safe. If HCWs do not clean their hands at the right moments, using the proper methods, they can transmit infection-causing microorganisms through their hands from one patient to another.
Performing hand hygiene at key moments is an important health care intervention. Hand hygiene reduces the transmission of microorganisms (including those that are antibioticresistant), increases patient safety, and decreases health care-associated infection (HAI). Effective, timely hand hygiene is a cornerstone of infection prevention and control. (UNI)