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Hand Hygiene Day

World Hand Hygiene Day Celebration

World Hand Hygiene Day is an annual event organized by the World Health Organization (WHO) to raise awareness about the importance of hand hygiene in preventing the spread of infections. It is held on May 5th each year and is part of the WHO’s “SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands” campaign.

The day is designed to encourage health care facilities and individuals to practice proper hand hygiene and to spread the message of the importance of hand hygiene in keeping everyone safe from infection.

Hand hygiene is the practice of keeping hands clean, either through washing with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. It is an important part of preventing the spread of germs and bacteria, which can cause illnesses such as influenza and food poisoning. Proper hand hygiene can help reduce the risk of infection, both in the home and in public places, such as hospitals and schools.

The theme of this year’s Day “Together, we can accelerate progress on hand hygiene” targets a range of stakeholders, but particularly civil society organizations who are often able to spearhead and accelerate change, to help accelerate progress at achieving effective hand hygiene at the point of care to prevent health care-associated infections, including epidemic- and pandemic-prone and antimicrobial resistant infections that are increasing in frequency, scale and impact.

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Hand hygiene is the single most important way to prevent the spread of germs and infections. It is recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) that people should wash their hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer at least five times a day, particularly after going to the toilet, before eating and after touching surfaces that may be contaminated.

Health care workers and those working in food preparation and handling should also adopt rigorous hand hygiene practices.

Regular handwashing with soap and water is the most effective way to remove germs, dirt and impurities from hands, while alcohol-based hand sanitizers can help reduce the number of germs on hands when washing with water and soap is not an option.

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