Publish date: 4 May 2021

Most common viruses are easily spread by hands. Knowing when and how to wash hands can help minimize the spread of germs. The SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands global campaign, launched in 2009 and celebrated annually on 5 May (World Hand Hygiene Day) aims to maintain global promotion, visibility and sustainability of hand hygiene in health care and to ‘bring people together’ in support of hand hygiene improvement around the world.

Infection prevention and control Team will be Promoting World hand hygiene day across the trust footprint on 5 May.

Key Facts and figures

Approximately 70% of health care workers do not routinely practise hand hygiene, with health workers reporting misunderstandings about the relevance and importance of hand hygiene in everyday clinical practice

Appropriate hand hygiene prevents up to 50% of avoidable infections acquired during health care delivery, including those affecting the health work force.

Appropriate hand hygiene reduces the risk on SARS-CoV-2 - the virus that causes COVID-19 - infection among health workers.


Hand hygiene is not a luxury. Campaigning gives WHO an amazing opportunity to talk to a worldwide audience. Infection prevention and control (IPC), which includes hand hygiene, is fundamental to safe and effective health care systems. Hand hygiene is relevant to all health workers, patients and their families at every single health care encounter. It contributes to quality universal health coverage, meeting Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3.8 and also strongly supports the water, sanitation, hygiene and health (WASH) and global antimicrobial resistance (AMR) agendas.