5th May: WHO World Hand Hygiene Day

Every year more than 30 million patients worldwide suffer from healthcare-associated sepsis. To prevent avoidable infections and improve patients’ safety, every year on the 5th of May, the World Health Organization calls upon healthcare facilities to sign up for its campaign SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands. This campaign encourages healthcare professionals to take concrete actions and use hand hygiene best practices. Three useful facts.

1. Why is the World Hand Hygiene Day on 5th May?

The date 5th May symbolises the five fingers on each hand. The WHO started the campaign in 2009. The goal: Bring people from all over the world together and support hand hygiene improvement. The "Five Moments for Hand Hygiene" is a concept developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) that identifies the key moments when health workers should disinfect their hands to minimise the transmission of microorganisms.

2. Annual motto

Each year, a specific theme is chosen for World Hand Hygiene Day to draw attention to specific aspects of hand hygiene or to new challenges and goals in infection prevention. The motto for 2023, "Accelerate action together. SAVE LIVES – Clean Your Hands", calls for collective action and emphasises the importance of investing together in hand hygiene practices to improve health care worldwide and thus prevent infections and antimicrobial resistance.

3. What matters when you disinfect your hands?

Use three instead of six! The German campaign “Aktion saubere Hände” clearly recommends following an easier three-step procedure for hand disinfection:

  1. Use enough disinfectant to wet the hands.
  2. Rub the entire hands, paying special attention to the thumbs, the fingertips and the nail folds.
  3. Let the disinfectant dry for 30 seconds.
5 Momente der Händedesinfektion WHO, 5 Momente Modell, ASH, Aktion Saubere Hände, 5 Indikationen, hygienische Händedesinfektion, vor Patientenkontakt, vor aseptischen Tätigkeiten, nach Patientenkontakt, nach Kontakt mit potenziell kontaminiertem Material

Ask our team
Sign up for our newsletter.