Clean Care is Safer Care

Message from Professor Didier Pittet


Since the WHO Clean Care is Safer Care programme began in 2005, over 130 WHO Member States and autonomous areas have pledged their support to prevent health care-associated infections (HAI). Over 17 000 health-care facilities have committed to improve hand hygiene as part of this and this represents well over 10 million health-care workers and over 4 million patient-beds, an unprecedented achievement in patient safety. All of our efforts, including those of health-care workers in facilities must now be directed towards sustaining action and thereby further reducing HAI and patient suffering.

Every year, HAI affect hundreds of millions of patients around the globe; people die or are considerably affected by diseases such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and other severe infections acquired during patient care, including many others that are resistant to antibiotics. By cleaning their hands, health-care workers can help prevent such diseases and contribute to reducing the global burden. The WHO multimodal strategy and 5 Moments for Hand Hygiene, which are explained on this website, demonstrate how and why diseases spread and what can be done to promote change and prevent harm.

Encouraging hospitals and health-care facilities to adopt this strategy and the 5 Moments for Hand Hygiene will contribute to a greater awareness, understanding of and behaviour change towards hand hygiene action in all countries. Our vision for the next decade is to encourage even more awareness and to promote the need for on-going action at the point of patient care to prevent avoidable harm from dangerous germs.

Professor Didier Pittet
Director, Infection Control Programme, University of Geneva Hospitals and Faculty of Medicine
External Programme Lead, WHO First Global Patient Safety Challenge: Clean Care is Safer Care