Clean Care is Safer Care

no 41

5 May 2012

Dear Colleagues,

In this 5 May newsletter:

  • Congratulations on 5 May 2012!
  • Reminder on the global burden of endemic health care-associated infection
  • What have we achieved together in 2012?
  • Announcing the first results of the WHO Hand Hygiene Self-Assessment global survey
  • 5 May 2012 call to action - 'What's YOUR plan?'
  • Advocates for SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands
  • WHO teleclasses, video recordings and hand hygiene tools

Congratulations to everyone who has worked hard to be part of the celebrations for the fourth year of WHO SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands global annual campaign. The commitment has once again been overwhelming and demonstrates that there is truly a global momentum for improving patient safety through clean hands year on year. This year has seen celebrations on a number of days, including on 5 May in many countries where Saturday is a regular working day, as in the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region, and in many other parts of the world on 7 May. A new congratulations message is now available to acknowledge all your efforts regarding 5 May!

Felicidades a todos aquellos que con su arduo trabajo, se han unido a la cuarta celebración anual consecutiva de la campaña mundial de la OMS SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands. La respuesta alrededor del mundo, ha sido una vez más abrumadora y demuestra que existe realmente un impulso global para mejorar la seguridad del paciente a través de la higiene de las manos. Este año ha sido testigo de celebraciones a lo largo de varios días, incluyendo el 5 de mayo en muchos países donde el sábado es un día laborable, como en la Región del Mediterráneo Oriental, y el 7 de mayo en muchas otras partes del mundo. Como un reconocimiento a su esfuerzo y a su apoyo para este 5 de mayo, sírvase encontrar este mensaje de felicitación en nuestra web.

Félicitations à tous ceux dont le travail permet la célébration annuelle de cette campagne mondiale SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands, pour la quatrième année consécutive. Votre engagement démontre une nouvelle fois la nécessité de faire progresser la sécurité des patients par l’amélioration de l’hygiène des mains année après année. Cette année, les célébrations du 5 mai se déroulent sur plusieurs jours, notamment le 5 mai dans les pays où le samedi est un jour ouvrable, comme dans la région Est-Méditerranéenne de l’OMS, mais aussi le 7 mai dans les autres régions du monde. En reconnaissance de votre investissement, un message de félicitations vous est adressé, à l’occasion de ce 5 mai 2012.

Reminder on the global burden of endemic health care-associated infection

The global burden of endemic health care-associated infection still needs to be addressed. The WHO report on this topic, issued in 2011, still provides key information on this problem and points out lessons learned and future perspectives.

What have we achieved together in 2012?

Registrations for SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands

New countries are still coming on board every year. In 2012 we aimed to have at least five new countries part of SAVE LIVES:Clean Your Hands in order to extend the impact of clean hands in health care and reach a total of 155 countries involved.

We are delighted to announce that over the last weeks six countries (Afghanistan, Republic of Moldova, Russian Federation, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, and Zambia), have joined us with health-care facilities participating in this exciting global movement for the first time. This is again an incredible achievement for these countries that have chosen to focus on this topic while they face many other challenges. Thank you to those individuals who led in achieving these registrations!

Total registrations this year have reached 15 047 health-care facilities from 156 countries which corresponds to more than 3.7 million patient beds and means almost 10 million health-care workers trying to improve patient safety. See the latest registration numbers per country now!

Many already participating countries have continued to increase their health-care facility registrations. Thank you for continuing to spread the message and for using this global annual campaign to help achieve clean hands at the point of patient care. It doesn't end on 5 May, both registrations and action can and should continue every day, every month, every year.

Announcing new ministry of health pledges to tackle patient safety and health care-associated infection!

This year two new country ministries of health have signed the WHO pledge, Afghanistan on 10 April 12012 and Lebanon on 3 May 2012. Again, this is a great achievement and very encouraging for others.

Announcing new countries joining WHO CleanHandsNet!

WHO CleanHandsNet (CHN) is an informal network of coordinators/leaders of hand hygiene activities, with the aim of sharing experiences and learning from each other.

This year we are pleased to announce that the following countries have joined CHN: Argentina, Bulgaria, Hungary, Ethiopia, Serbia, South Korea. More countries are expected to meet the WHO criteria for participation in the next future.

Announcing the first results of the WHO Hand Hygiene Self-Assessment global survey

This survey was launched in 2011 and we are pleased to announce that today the first results are posted on the WHO web pages.

2119 health-care settings from 69 countries submitted their complete Framework results to WHO.

We want to thank everyone who committed to undertaking this exercise and those who facilitated participation, such as hand hygiene campaign coordinators from many countries, WHO regional focal points for patient safety, other WHO staff from country offices and many stakeholders around the world. It not only helps to maintain the global profile of hand hygiene but in every health-care facility, it truly helps to direct action.

The WHO Hand Hygiene Self-Assessment Framework can still be used; it has been downloaded over 73 000 times since it was issued on 5 May 2010; one of the most popular WHO tools ever!

5 May 2012 call to action - 'What's YOUR plan?'

This year we promoted action in each month of 2012 leading up to 5 May; an action each month to help you plan and improve practices. These were based on your WHO Hand Hygiene Self-Assessment Framework results and called '5 Steps to 5 May'.

The Template Action Plans were then made available by WHO in 2012 to support you all with your improvement efforts. These have been downloaded over 6000 times. WHO also received copies of examples of local action plans - thank you to those who shared these with us.

Like the WHO Hand Hygiene Self-Assessment Framework, you can use the WHO template action plans any time. These are available in English, French and Spanish.

Advocates for SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands

WHO has again provided links to web pages which have featured SAVE LIVES:Clean Your Hands5 May and associated hand hygiene activities. We hope that these features will be retained day on day, year on year to maintain the local and global profile of the campaign. This is critical for the long-term sustainability of SAVE LIVES:Clean Your Hands.

Announcing a new collaboration to enhance the role of advocates

Launched today, the Private Organizations for Patient Safety (POPS) led by the WHO Patient Safety programme will work with key advocates in the private sector to improve the spread, implementation and impact of hand hygiene. POPS will be a computer-based platform for knowledge sharing to promote compliance with WHO recommendations, share information and enhance hand hygiene product availability and accessibility in all parts of the world.

Available today!

This year again we are pleased to announce the support of Webber Training in broadcasting Professor Didier Pittet's free teleclass, 'Keeping the hand hygiene agenda alive: acting on data, and the influence of global surveys'. Three different opportunities will be available on 7 May:

  • at 2.30 pm CET and 1.30 pm NYT in English
  • at 4 pm CET in French

Cette année encore, nous avons le privilège d’annoncer, grâce au soutien de Webber Training, la diffusion de la conférence (accès libre) donnée par le Professeur Didier Pittet: «Maintenir l’hygiène des mains au sommet de l’agenda: données récentes et impact des enquêtes mondiales». Trois diffusions auront lieu au cours de la journée du 7 mai 2012:

  • en anglais – à 14:30 CET et 13:30 NYT
  • en français – à 16:00 CET
Today WHO will make available the following new tools tool or translations:

In 2012, together we have kept the SAVE LIVES:Clean Your Hands campaign alive; there is on-going engagement around the globe and it is clear that we can all continue to contribute to action every day. If you are taking action in support of SAVE LIVES:Clean Your Hands you are already helping to save lives!

Thank you again for all your efforts. You are our main contacts and advocates and we very much appreciate your support. Congratulations again on another successful 5 May!

The WHO Patient Safety: Clean Care is Safer Care team.


Previous SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands newsletters can be used to help you develop your own messages to encourage others to take action.

Enquiries: savelives@who.int.


WHO Clean Care is Safer Care

Providing WHO information has to be balanced with available resources, both human and financial. The WHO Patient Safety Programme, including the Clean Care is Safer Care team, do their best to translate their most relevant tools and documents. Regretfully, we are not currently in a position to translate this SAVE LIVES:Clean Your Hands newsletter into French or Spanish. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you and hope that you will remain a valued reader of the newsletter.

La délivrance d'informations provenant de l'OMS dépend des ressources disponibles, à la fois humaines et financières. Le Programme OMS pour la Sécurité des Patients, comprenant l'équipe "Un Soin Propre est un Soin plus sûr", fait de son mieux pour traduire ses outils et documents les plus importants. Malheureusement, nous ne sommes pas actuellement en mesure de traduire la lettre d'information mensuelle de SAVE LIVES:Clean Your Hands en français et en espagnol. Nous nous excusons pour ce désagrément et espérons que vous resterez un fidèle lecteur de la lettre d'information à l'avenir.

La información generada por la OMS, depende de los recursos humanos y económicos disponibles. El Programa por la Seguridad del Paciente, y el equipo de la iniciativa "Cuidado Limpio es Cuidado Seguro", realizan sus mejores esfuerzos para traducir el material y documentos de mayor importancia. Desafortunadamente, por el momento no contamos con la facilidad de traducir el boletin mensual SAVE LIVES:Clean Your Hands en francés o español. Le pedimos disculpas por cualquier inconveniente que podamos causarle, y esperamos seguir contando con su valiosa participación como lector de nuestro boletin.

Share