Clean Care is Safer Care

Update No 6

28 April 2009

Dear colleagues

Countdown to 5 May 2009

Hand hygiene has surged in importance over the last week with the outbreak of swine flu. The global messages include the important one of cleaning hands. In the lead up to 5 May we can all profile this critical message in our organizations.


This week the number of health-care facilities registering has risen dramatically to 3863 from 109 countries. With a combined staff of over 3.6 million this represents an increasing level of engagement in the global push to highlight hand hygiene as one of the best ways of reducing health care-associated infections. We warmly congratulate everyone not only for your enthusiasm and support for SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands, but also for working in your own areas to encourage the same commitment from others.

Sweden Pledges & France to Pledge

On 21 April, Sweden became the 119th country to pledge support for the WHO First Global Patient Safety Challenge: Clean Care is Safer Care. On 5 May, France will pledge support. Activities to highlight 5 May are planned in both countries and are profiled together with many other countries, hospitals and facilities on the website. Many of the activities are innovative and dynamic, designed to encourage greater awareness and understanding of the importance of good hand hygiene. Energy is also being put into patient and visitor awareness. At this time of heightened interest in the potential for pandemic spread, knowing about good hand hygiene practice is critical.

Launch event on 5 May 2009

On 5 May a new website will be launched for SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands. It will be accessible via the WHO First Global Patient Safety Challenge site: Clean Care is Safer Care. From this site you will be able to download several sets of materials - the WHO Guidelines on Hand Hygiene in Health Care which will also be launched on the day, the revised toolkit for hand hygiene which will be downloadable in sets, a new promotional video clip which can be used for any promotional activity you plan at any time, and a new screen saver.

Yours sincerely
Dr Cyrus Engineer
Project Lead, SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands