World Hand Hygiene Day 2022: date, theme of WHO event, how to get involved and 5 moments approach

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World Hand Hygiene Day takes place every year and aims to promote the importance of hand hygiene.

But what is it and what is this year’s theme?

Here’s what you need to know.

What is World Hand Hygiene Day?

The event is a World Health Organisation (WHO) initiative which aims to progress the goal of maintaining hand hygiene in healthcare and to “bring people together” in support of hand hygiene improvement on a global scale.

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It focuses on the notion that all healthcare workers should clean their hands at the right time and in the right way.

WHO said: “Infection Prevention and Control, including hand hygiene, is critical to achieve UHC (Universal Health Care) as it is a practical and evidence-based approach with demonstrated impact on quality of care and patient safety across all levels of the health system.”

When does it take place?

The day takes place every year on 5 May, which this year will land on a Thursday.

What is this year’s theme?

This year’s theme is ‘Unite for safety: clean your hands’, which involves hand hygiene and infection prevention and control.

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The WHO website said the theme is focused on “recognising that we can add to a facility’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.”

This year’s campaign aims to recognise that people of all levels should work together to influence the culture/climate through clean hands knowledge and behaviour in order to meet the common goal of safety and quality in healthcare.

How can I get involved?

WHO has a number of resources to get involved with the global day, including:

What is the My 5 Moments for Hand Hygiene approach?

The My 5 Moments for Hand Hygiene approach defines the key moments when healthcare workers should perform hand hygiene, according to WHO.

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The approach is evidence-based, field-tested and user-centred, and is designed to be easy to learn, logical and applicable in a wide range of settings.

This approach recommends healthcare workers clean their hands:

  • before touching a patient
  • before clean/aseptic procedures
  • after body fluid exposure/risk
  • after touching a patient
  • after touching patient surroundings
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