Surgeons washing hands

World Hand Hygiene Day

Celebrated every year on May 5, Hand Hygiene Day mobilizes people around the world to increase adherence to hand hygiene in health care facilities, thus protecting healthcare workers and patients from infections.

Practicing hand hygiene is a simple yet effective way to prevent infections. Cleaning your hands can prevent the spread of germs, including those germs that are resistant to antibiotics and are becoming difficult, if not impossible, to treat.

This year, the campaign theme “SAVE LIVES: Clean your hands”, is aligned with the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife, and aims to recognize nurses and midwives as front-line heroes who deserve acknowledgement and appreciation, and highlight their critical roles in infection prevention.

Visit the World Health Organization (WHO) for World Hand Hygiene Day Campaign resources and information.

In addition, the CDC’s Clean Hands Count Campaign offers a wealth of resources. The CDC Campaign aims to:

  • Improve healthcare provider adherence to CDC hand hygiene recommendations
  • Address the myths and misperceptions about hand hygiene
  • Empower patients to play a role in their care by asking or reminding healthcare providers to clean their hands


On April 27, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), offered a Webinar, titled ‘Prevention Messages for Front Line Long-Term Care Staff: Clean Hands – Combat COVID-19’. Access the Webinar recording.