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World Hand Hygiene Day 2024 – May 5

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World Hand Hygine Day - May 5 2024World Hand Hygiene Day (WHHD) is annually observed across the globe on 5 May to spread awareness about the importance of knowledge and learning about hand hygiene at the right times to prevent a range of infectious diseases.

  • The annual observance of WHHD is led by the World Health Organisation (WHO).


The theme of WHHD 2024 is “Promoting knowledge and capacity building of health and care workers through innovative and impactful training and education, on infection prevention and control, including hand hygiene.”

Slogan :

The slogan of WHHD 2024 is “Why is sharing knowledge about hand hygiene still so important? Because it helps stop the spread of harmful germs in healthcare.”


The SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands annual global campaign led by WHO to support health-care workers was launched in 2009. This was a part of the global efforts to improve hand hygiene in health care.

Since then, 5th May of every year is observed as World Hand Hygiene Day.

SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands Campaign:

i.SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands Campaign was a natural extension of the WHO First Global Patient Safety Challenge: Clean Care is Safer Care work, which is now the WHO IPC Hub & Task Force.

ii.The IPC Technical and Clinical Hub team provides technical leadership and coordination of the IPC work at WHO headquarters, including through the IPC Taskforce.

Objectives of the campaign:

i.To advocate for proper hand hygiene among healthcare workers and foster collaboration worldwide.

ii.To support healthcare workers globally in improving hand hygiene practices to combat Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs)

Objectives of WHHD 2024:

i.Strengthen Learning Approaches:

  • Implement innovative and effective training methods.
  • Empower health and care workers with enhanced knowledge, skills, and behaviours.
  • Improve hand hygiene and infection prevention and control (IPC) at the point of care.

ii.Promote Access to innovative hand hygiene and IPC training resources for health and care workers.

iii.Encourage Measurement and Evaluation:

  • Establish mechanisms for assessing the impact of training and education.
  • Monitor IPC standards and practices, including hand hygiene effectiveness.

Significance of Hand Hygiene:

i.Hands are the main pathways of germ transmission during health care.

ii.Appropriate hand hygiene prevents up to 50% of avoidable infections acquired during healthcare delivery, including those affecting the health workforce.

iii.Hand hygiene is a vital component of IPC and plays a crucial role in achieving the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) by improving the quality of care and patient safety.

2024 Events:

WHO organised a WHO Infection Prevention and Control Global Webinar on 6 May 2024 to commemorate WHHD 2024.