Did you know today is World Hand Hygiene Day?

This year’s campaign slogan is ‘Seconds save lives – clean your hands!’

Hand-washing is so crucial to our health and well-being that the World Health Organization (WHO) has dedicated a special day to raise awareness about its importance.

The worldwide SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands campaign was launched in 2009, and since then May 5 has been designated as World Hand Hygiene Day.

While the vital role hand hygiene plays in infection prevention and control is well understood throughout the greater health-care sector, the annual campaign aims to keep its importance top of mind.

Given that we are in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, proper hand hygiene is more important than ever.

COVID-19, like other viruses, can be transmitted by touching our nose, eyes or mouth after being in contact with an infected surface. Washing hands properly and often kills pathogens that can cause illnesses.

In a statement, the WHO says the goal of the campaign is for health-care providers “to achieve effective hand-hygiene action at the point of care.”

In a long-term care setting, the point of care refers to three elements: the resident, the staff member and the treatment or care being provided to the resident by the staff member involving contact.

The slogan for this year’s campaign is “Seconds save lives – clean your hands!”

“Hand hygiene is one of the most effective actions you can take to reduce the spread of pathogens and prevent infections, including the COVID-19 virus,” the WHO says.

“The WHO global hand-hygiene campaign SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands mobilizes people around the world to increase adherence to hand hygiene in health-care facilities, thus protecting health-care workers and patient from COVID-19 and other pathogens.”

Click here for more information about the SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands 2021 campaign.

Social media hashtags to look out for during this year’s campaign include #safehands, #handhygiene and #infectionprevention.

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