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District health boards take part in World Hand Hygiene Day 2020

Infection prevention and control
02 June 2020

District health boards (DHBs) across the country took part in World Hand Hygiene Day on Tuesday 5 May 2020. The campaign, run by the World Health Organization (WHO), aims to highlight hand washing as one of the most effective actions you can take to reduce the spread of infections, including viruses, flu and other respiratory diseases.

The day had added significance this year, with health care staff working hard in the fight against COVID-19.

The theme for 2020 was 'Nurses and midwives, clean care is in your hands'. It recognises the vital role nurses and midwives play in infection prevention and control through good hand hygiene practice.

Below are some of the fun and innovative events DHBs shared with the Health Quality & Safety Commission as they celebrated the day.

Northland DHB

Northland DHB celebrated the day in several ways. These included:

  • publishing a story about hand hygiene on the intranet
  • displaying screen savers to promote hand hygiene
  • displaying posters on 20 patient safety boards across 4 hospitals
  • clapping at noon (a WHO initiative)
  • recognising five hand hygiene auditors with certificates for their contribution towards hand hygiene education.
West Coast DHB

West Coast DHB celebrated by:

  • having the infection prevention and quality teams visit different areas of Grey Base Hospital to promote hand hygiene
  • creating and distributing new hand hygiene posters around the hospital
  • holding demonstrations of hand hygiene techniques
  • handing out certificates of recognition for hand hygiene
  • widely publicising the day through the staff intranet, newsletter and by email.
Whanganui DHB

Whanganui DHB promoted the message that simply wearing gloves does not protect you or those around you. Their activities included:

  • displaying photos on the intranet highlighting the importance of washing your hands after removing gloves
  • the infection prevention and control team visiting wards to hand out treats to staff who correctly named all ‘5 moments for hand hygiene’
  • sending a media advisory about World Hand Hygiene Day to local media contacts.

Thank you to the DHBs who contributed to making World Hand Hygiene Day 2020 a success.