Clean Care is Safer Care

Update No 16

5 January 2010

Dear colleagues

10,000 for 2010 - The countdown is now well under way!

Happy new year to you all - 5 May 2010, our annual day when along with all of you WHO Patient Safety aims to highlight the importance of the SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands global initiative, is now just a few months away. We need your help more than ever to show that the world is still committed to ensuring patient safety through clean, safe hands and to continue galvanising action at the point of patient care.

Nous avons récemment lancé plusieurs pages web en langue française, liés aux soins plus sûrs, y compris de l'information sur SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands, ainsi que certains de nos outils les plus utilisés. Pour plus de détails, prière de suivre le lien. Au delà de cela, nous n'avons pas, en ce moment, la possibilité de traduire tous nos documents dans les autres langues officielles de l'OMS, y compris cette newsletter. Nous vous prions de nous excuser de ce désagrément et espérons pouvoir graduellement augmenter la quantité de ce qui est traduit en français.

Helping to promote 5 May 2010

Registering for SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands - it couldn’t be simpler to encourage health-care facilities in your own town, country or region to register their commitment to SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands and to be part of this global movement. Just tell them to complete the form available here. Or, if people don’t have access to the internet, you can encourage them to register by post (they can contact us for more information on this).

To see how the registration numbers are progressing in your country/region click here. We still need to get another 4000 facilities registered over the next four months! Remember, you do not need to re-register if you registered for 5 May 2009 because you will already be on the list of facilities for your country.

Sharing your planned 5 May activities with WHO is a crucial part of this global initiative. We want to hear about health-care facility and country/regional efforts to galvanise action to improve and sustain hand hygiene compliance, particularly on or around 5 May 2010. Email us at and we will share this information on our web pages to encourage others.

Using the briefing kit to advocate for action on 5 May 2010 and taking other actions should help both you and WHO to ensure the success of this global annual initiative. By now you should be considering forthcoming issue dates for your local newsletters and journals, in order to submit articles and editorials. The templates in the briefing kit should help get you started. You could also consider adding a line to your email signature to promote registrations and activities for 5 May 2010.

WHO Patient Safety distribution strategy - fliers for events and hand hygiene & other tools on CD Rom

Postcard sized fliers promoting SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands and WHO's 5 Moments for Hand Hygiene are available for use at events in your area. Requests for all resources including the fliers and CD Roms containing all the hand hygiene tools, for those with no internet access, can be sent to

WHO continuing work to support 5 May 2010

Simplified hand hygiene observation tool - the purpose of this forthcoming WHO tool is to support the assessment of health-care worker compliance with the most symbolic indication for hand hygiene, before touching a patient, at a defined point in time. Having health-care facilities around the globe undertake this observation should help to raise awareness of the most fundamental prevention of germ transmission - health-care worker hands to patients. As part of the SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands initiative, 5 May is recommended as a day for observing this one moment. (NB: This recommendation does not mean that observations of all WHO's '5 Moments for Hand Hygiene' should not be undertaken on a regular basis).

Webinar series - the inaugural lecture of WHO's webinar series will take place on 19 January 2010. This will be presented by Dr Benedetta Allegranzi, deputy lead of WHO's First Global Patient Safety Challenge. We urge you all to listen in to this lecture on 'The global burden of health care-associated infections' - information on how to register and dial-in will be sent out to you shortly and will be available on our web pages.

Remember that frequently asked questions and answers on SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands and hand hygiene can be found on our web pages. Here you can also find previous newsletters that can be used to help you develop your own messages to encourage others to take action. Please cascade this and other messages to as many as you can to help this global movement, the time is now more critical than ever.

With many thanks for your on-going commitment, support and enthusiasm.

Yours sincerely
Claire Kilpatrick
Programme Manager, First Global Patient Safety Challenge: Clean Care is Safer Care