Clean Care is Safer Care

Countries or areas running hand hygiene campaigns

Countries or areas from all over the world have been running their own hand hygiene campaigns. These are listed below (in alphabetical order), with links to their campaign website where available.


Algeria recognizes the magnitude and importance of the impact of health care-associated infections on patients and the health care system, and commits to take all necessary measures to promote the highest standards of practice to reduce the spread of these infections.

At the end of 2012, the Ministry of Health committed to revitalize “infection prevention and control” activities in the country, in particular the fight against health care-associated infections and waste management which are among the main priority issues at the national level.

The celebration of SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands campaign and signing of the formal pledge statement of the WHO Patient Safety Programme by the Minister of Health on 5 May 2013 is a new starting point for patient safety in Algeria.


  • Asociación Argentina de Enfermeros en Control de Infecciones
    The National Advisory Committee for Patient Safety was created in 2007, within the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Health, to advise the Ministry and the Federal Health Council on actions to be developed, to improve patient safety. As part of the functions of this committee, multiple actions are taking place, including the sponsorship of the campaign to improve the number of registrations to hand hygiene in Argentina, promoted by the Argentinean Association of Infection Control Nurses (ADECI).


  • Hand Hygiene Australia website
    The Hand Hygiene Australia team are headed by Professor Lindsay Grayson as Director, and Phil Russo as Project Manager. Over 580 public and private sector facilities from all States and Territories routinely submit hand hygiene compliance data. Data is aggregated and posted on the HHA website. All educational resources are freely available on the HHA website.


Actions to improve hand hygiene is well underway in the major hospitals and there are plans to expand.


The message is being spread to more facilities and actions to improve performance are being promoted.


  • Belgian hand hygiene campaign
    The Belgian Ministry of Health has run hand hygiene campaigns every two years since 2005. The campaign is called "Vous êtes en de bonnes mains / U bent in goede handen" (You Are in Good Hands) and is at its fifth edition this year. The 2012-2013 campaign is divided into two key moments:

    1- around 5 May: a single awareness-raising action is organized by the hospital hygiene staff, for which some material has been provided (a poster and a big billboard in the shape of our mascot). 131 acute care and psychiatric hospitals are participating.
    2- early 2013: the campaign will run as usual: pre-measurement of hand hygiene compliance, followed by a four-week sensitization and then post-measurements. Campaign material will be provided for this activity as well. 137 acute care and psychiatric hospitals will participate.

    All Belgian hospitals are invited to use the WHO Hand Hygiene Self-Assessment Framework every year.
    The campaign material is available on the campaign website and can be freely downloaded.


For years the Ministry of Health of Benin has been conducting several interventions to promote hand hygiene in health care. The latest campaign has been running since December 2012 by the National Hospital Authority with funding from Swiss cooperation.


  • Brazilian hand hygiene campaign
    The Brazilian national hand hygiene effort goes back to 1998 with a passed to help reduce health care-associated infection.


The Bulgarian hand hygiene national campaign was launched by the Ministry of Health on 5 May 2011 and is coordinated by the National Health Care-associated Infection Reference Centre. Translations of a range of WHO tools were made available for hospital implementation. The HHSAF is used for national assessment. Campaign hospitals participate in 5th May activities promoted by the Ministry.


  • Canada's hand hygiene campaign
    The Canadian Patient Safety Institute (CPSI) launched a national hand hygiene campaign in 2007 under the theme “STOP! Clean your hands”. CPSI offers a variety of tools, resources, and improvement programs to promote optimal hand hygiene practices across all sectors of care. Each year CPSI in conjunction with the Community and Hospital Infection Control Association–Canada, Accreditation Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada promote the May 5th STOP Clean Your Hands Day.

Costa Rica

  • Hand hygiene in Costa Rica
    The Costa Rican campaign to improve hand hygiene is part of an overall national effort to tackle patient safety issues.


Meetings and workshops to promote action and align messages are held. Hand hygiene is being promoted in most hospitals.
Campaign hospitals participate in 5 May activities promoted by the Ministry of Health and Reference Center for hospital infection in University Hospital Centre Zagreb every year. Basic WHO tools were translated and made available for hospital implementation.


  • Interactive hand hygiene training materials from Denmark
    This web-based training material on hygiene in the health-care sector is part of the overall national Danish effort to reduce the rate of health care-acquired infections. The hospitals and other health-care institutions create their own action plan on hand hygiene and they find inspiration in both the Danish material and the material from WHO.


In Ethiopia, the National Infection Prevention and Patient Safety (IPPS) Advisory Committee was reorganized in January 2010, with the objective support of the Ministry of Health to strengthen the national IPPS program. During the last two and half years, the National IPPS Advisory Committee under the leadership of the MOH was able to develop National IPPS strategic framework, IPPS reference manual and a comprehensive IPPS training package for health workers where by Hand Hygiene is part of the documents. At present the country launched the SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands campaign by promoting registration of hospitals in the country and by planning to organize a one day meeting on 18 May at one of the hospitals (ALERT hospital ) in Addis Ababa.


  • French hand hygiene campaign
    The Ministry of Health prepares the French campaign, with the theme "Mission Mains Propres". The French hand hygiene campaign will take place during the patient safety week.


Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China

  • Hong Kong Hand Hygiene Campaign
    Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) actively promotes hand hygiene in different health care settings including long-term care facilities. The important role of hand hygiene in the control of multi-drug resistant organisms is highlighted.


A hand hygiene national campaign was launched by the Hungarian Ministry of Health in March 2011. A range of WHO tools were translated and made available on the campaign’s official web page. Campaign hospitals participate in 5 May activities promoted by the Ministry of Health every year.



Hand hygiene is promoted under the patient safety agenda. I t has held national workshops to identify priority action areas and actions have been initiated in several areas across the country.




Through Ministry of Health actions are being stimulated in health care facilities in Jordan and also in other countries in the region.



The Luxembourg Ministry of Health launched the first national hand hygiene campaign in November 2009 with the participation of all hospitals and with the support of the respective associations of physicians, dentists, hospitals, nurses and others. In 2011 a second national campaign was organized, in collaboration with the Ministry of Family. In addition to hospitals and rehabilitation sector, all the nursing homes and services for home care participated. The campaigns were multimodal, explicitly adopting the WHO WHO Guidelines on Hand Hygiene in Health Care. Alcohol-based handrub consumption and pre- and post campaign compliance are monitored at hospitals. The evaluation of the compliance in the hospitals showed a clear positive impact of the campaigns but also the need to repeat them.


Malaysia commitment towards WHO First Global Patient Safety Challenge “Clean Care, Safer Care” campaign kicked off with signing of statement of commitment by Ministry of Health in 2006. A large scale national and state hospital level campaign was then conducted. This was followed by introduction of WHO Multimodal Hand Hygiene Improvement Strategy and Tools in all hospitals in Ministry of Health Malaysia in 2008. Hand hygiene compliance data were collected every quarterly each year. With continuous assessment, training and education, the country has shown a tremendous change in hand hygiene compliance rate from 64% in 2009 to 74% by the end of 2011. As part of the obligation, every year most of the tertiary hospitals conduct hand hygiene awareness day around 5 May.

The Hand Hygiene Self-Assessment Framework is used to identify the limitations and weaknesses in the existing system. The report was discussed with respective healthcare facilities and an action plan for each component is structured to gain optimum results in hand hygiene implementation. To strengthen the hand hygiene compliance among the health care workers, the Director General of Health has instructed hand hygiene compliance rate to be the Hospital Key Performance Indicator starting January 2012.




In Mongolia nationwide promotion of hand hygiene started in 2010, with the intention of incorporating hand hygiene as part of national guidelines.

New Zealand

  • Hand Hygiene New Zealand
    The Hand Hygiene New Zealand programme was initiated in 2008 and is currently delivered to hospitals throughout the country by Auckland District Health Board on behalf of the Health Quality and Safety Commission New Zealand (the Commission). This programme is one of three initiatives within the Commission’s Infection Prevention and Control Programme, which aims to reduce healthcare associated infections within the New Zealand health sector.

    Healthcare facilities throughout New Zealand have been encouraged to register their support for the “WHO SAVE LIVES: Clean your hands” campaign. For 5 May 2013 celebrations healthcare facilities throughout New Zealand are preparing to raise awareness and educate both patients and healthcare workers about the vital importance of hand hygiene to patient safety.

Northern Ireland, United Kingdom

  • Clean your hands campaign, Northern Ireland
    The cleanyourhands campaign, which was launched to Health & Social Care bodies in Northern Ireland from June 2008, has now been extended into Primary and Community Care facilities throughout the province. A number of training and information sessions for local Nursing and Residential Homes have been held regionally to implement the roll out of this campaign.


Norway ran a national hand hygiene campaign in both hospitals and nursing homes in 2005-2007. The Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) updated national guidelines on Standard Precautions in 2009 including hand hygiene and is planning a national campaign on implementing the standard precautions in primary health care during 2011-12. There is an increasing focus on the importance of hand hygiene in child care/kindergarten and preschool.


The Ministry of Health signed the Clean Care is Safer Care pledge to promote compliance with hand hygiene and other infection prevention and control standards in healthcare facilities in December 2006. Since then many efforts have been made at several levels to institutionalize the patient safety culture and to improve healthcare workers’ practices.

Efforts on improving hand hygiene compliance are being coordinated by the Infection prevention section at the department of communicable diseases surveillance and control of the Ministry of Health in collaboration with the GCC Center for infection control and the Clean Care is Safer Care team at the WHO.

Several education and training sessions has been conducted at the national and governorate level. Training of hand hygiene observers (40) has been conducted using the WHO guidelines and educational resources. Local production of alcohol-based hand rub using the WHO-recommended formulations has been achieved through collaboration between the Ministry of Health and a local manufacturer since 2010. Hand hygiene self-assessment was conducted in the secondary & tertiary care hospitals (a total of 10) in December 2012.

Ontario, Canada