May 5 is World Hand Hygiene Day. Hand Hygiene is one of the most effective actions to reduce the spread of pathogens and prevent infections, including the COVID-19 virus.
Celebrated every year on 5 May, Hand Hygiene Day mobilizes people around the world to increase adherence to hand hygiene in health care facilities, thus protecting health care 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.
According to CDC, Healthcare personnel should use an alcohol-based hand rub or wash with soap and water for the following clinical indications:
- Immediately before touching a patient
- Before performing an aseptic task (e.g., placing an indwelling device) or handling invasive medical devices
- Before moving from work on a soiled body site to a clean body site on the same patient
- After touching a patient or the patient’s immediate environment
- After contact with blood, body fluids, or contaminated surfaces
- Immediately after glove removal
Healthcare facilities should:
- Require healthcare personnel to perform hand hygiene in accordance recommendations
- Ensure that healthcare personnel perform hand hygiene with soap and water when hands are visibly soiled
- Ensure that supplies necessary for adherence to hand hygiene are readily accessible in all areas where patient care is being delivered
Unless hands are visibly soiled, an alcohol-based hand rub is preferred over soap and water in most clinical situations due to evidence of better compliance compared to soap and water. Hand rubs are generally less irritating to hands and, in the absence of a sink, are an effective method of cleaning hands.
Clean Hands Save Lives.
Source: WHO, CDC