Dr. Geethika Patabendige
Sri Lanka College of Microbiologists
World Hand Hygiene Day highlights the importance of hand hygiene (HH) in healthcare and it is commemorated globally on 5th May every year.
When a health facility’s “ quality and safety climate” values hand hygiene and infection prevention and control (IPC) this results in both patients and healthcare workers (HCWs) feeling protected and cared for. In order to prioritize clean hands in healthcare facilities, people at all levels need to believe in the importance of hand hygiene and IPC to save lives, by acting as key players in acieveving the appropriate behaviours and attitudes towards it. Healthcare workers at all levels and people accessing healthcare facilities need to unite on ensuring clean hands.
This year’s theme for World Hand Hygiene Day is focused on recognizing that we can add to a facilitie’s climate or culture of safety and quality through cleaning our hands but also that a strong quality and safety culture will encourage people to clean hands at the right times and with the right products.
In keeping with the above requirements this year, the slogan is “ Unite for safety: clean your hands” and the campaign theme for 2022 is A healthcare “ quality and safety climate or culture” that values hand hygiene and infection prevention and control. Campaign objective is to recognize that people of all levels should work together to influence the culture/climate through clean hands knowledge and behavior, to meet the common goal of safety and quality in the healthcare organization.
It is our duty and responsibility to unite, talk and work together on hand hygiene for high quality safe care everywhere on this advocacy day with the intention of improving the awareness among all.
The WHO aims to catalyze the discussion on the importance of HH in healthcare and its overall improvement worldwide by bringing people together on this special day.
WHO calls on HCWs to lead by being role models performing hand hygiene appropriately and also encouraging others to clean their hands, IPC leaders to engage HCWs to be part of new hand hygiene initiatives, Quality and safety leads to work with IPC leads to support hand hygiene improvement, Facility managers to promote a quality and safety culture to ensure clean hands, Policy makers to prioritize resources, training programmes on hand hygiene and people who use healthcare to get involved in local hand hygiene campaigns and activities.
Applying hand hygiene practices using WHO multimodal strategies and five step Implementation Strategy using the WHO guide to implementation would be the final expectation of all. Hand hygiene according to “ Your 5 Moments for Hand Hygiene” approach defines the key moments when HCW should perform hand hygiene. This evidence-based, field- tested, use-centred approach of hand hygiene is designed to be easy to learn, logical and applicable in a wide range of settings. This approach recommends HCW s to clean their hand before touching a patient, before clean/aseptic procedures, after body fluid exposure/risks, after touching a patient and after touching a patient surrounding.
A wide range of campaign methods such as physically attended programmes respecting the existing health regulations for the prevention and control of COVID 19, web banners, posters, social media assets like selfie boards, Zoom backgrounds, Newsletters, appreciation of hand hygiene champions and role models and any other material can be made use of for the campaign activities.
Our energetic members are kindly requested to send the details including photographs of the programmes arranged to commemorate the World Hand Hygiene to be published in our web site.