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SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands

May 5th is an important diary date for healthcare workers across the globe because it provides an annual focus point for the World Health Organisation’s SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands campaign. The purpose of this annual campaign is to raise awareness of the importance of hand hygiene in healthcare.


This year’s theme is ‘Strengthening healthcare systems and delivery – hand hygiene is your entrance door’. The campaign aims to galvanise action at the point of care to demonstrate that hand hygiene is the entrance door for reducing healthcare associated infections and improving patient safety. It also aims to demonstrate the world's commitment to this priority area of healthcare.

Healthcare facilities can show their commitment to the SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands campaign and add to the growing total of over 17,000 healthcare facilities that have already pledged their support by registering at There is also a large selection of tools and resources available via that the WHO provides to help healthcare facilities raise awareness on the importance of hand hygiene and improve hand hygiene behaviours.

GOJO is a loyal supporter of the SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands campaign and continues to play an active role in raising awareness on hand hygiene through its membership of POPS (Private Organisations for Patient Safety). This year it has developed The Five Rights of Hand Hygiene™, a tool to help reinforce the important aspects of hand hygiene to healthcare workers. The five rights include:

1. The Right Product: It is important to know when to use an alcohol-based hand rub (ABHR) and when to use soap and water. Frequent hand washing can sometimes lead to skin irritation therefore it is paramount that the right formulation is used to help prevent this.

2. The Right Amount: Using the right amount of an ABHR is essential to ensure you get the right amount of germ kill from the product you are using. Manufacturers of these products should specify the right amount or dose of product that is needed to meet EU standards.

3. The Right Technique: Hand hygiene is a procedure that needs to be done correctly in order to work. Regardless of whether you use either soap and water or ABHR, you need to ensure you are adequately reaching all surfaces of the hand and fingers. The World Health Organisation provides step-by-step instructions on how to do this correctly

4. The Right Moment: There are key moments when healthcare workers should perform hand hygiene. They include before touching a patient, before an aseptic task, after body fluid exposure or risk, after touching a patient and after touching patient surroundings.

5. The Right People: In the past, the primary focus of hand hygiene efforts has been centred around nurses and other healthcare workers however, patients and visitors also play a role in the transmission of micro-organisms and should be educated on how and when to perform hand hygiene.

Mike Sullivan, managing director of GOJO Industries Europe says: “Hand hygiene is very effective when performed correctly. The more informed healthcare workers are about how and when to perform hand hygiene, the better equipped they will be to engage patients and family members to do so as well, meaning that we can all unite around patient safety and help to create a healthier environment for everyone.”