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Save lives – clean your hands this World Hand Hygiene Day

Infection prevention and control
02 May 2023

The World Health Organization’s World Hand Hygiene Day is being celebrated on 5 May with a theme of ‘Accelerate action together. Save lives – clean your hands’.

World Hand Hygiene Day is an important reminder to everyone that good hand hygiene (hand washing or use of hand sanitiser) can protect yourself and others from the spread of germs. Hand hygiene is particularly important with the continued spread of COVID-19 and other seasonal illnesses in our communities.

Hands can easily spread infection by passing on germs which live on our skin. Staphylococcus aureus, for example, can cause skin, bloodstream and surgical site infections.

Te Tāhū Hauora Health Quality & Safety Commission has produced a suite of resources to promote the importance of hand hygiene on World Hand Hygiene Day and beyond. These include a poster outlining the 5 moments for hand hygiene, screensavers (animated and static) and email signature graphics. Click here to access these resources.

Remember to clean your hands at these five key moments:

  1. before touching a patient
  2. before clean/aseptic procedure
  3. after blood/bodily fluid exposure risk
  4. after touching a patient
  5. after touching a patient's surroundings.