About Careers Internship MedBlog Contact us
World Hand Hygiene Day

World Hand Hygiene Day

Font : A-A+

Highlights :
  • Worldwide, May 5th is commemorated as World Hand Hygiene Day every year
  • On this day, awareness on the importance of hand hygiene in health care is promoted
  • During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is necessary to wash hands frequently with soap and water to protect against the virus

World Hand Hygiene Day is observed globally every year on 5th May by the World Health Organization (WHO). This day aims at creating awareness on hand hygiene and to provide effective hand hygiene practices to achieve better health and well-being.

Who's the Father of Hand Hygiene?

Hand hygiene is one of the most effective methods to reduce the spread of pathogens and prevent infections, including coronavirus (COVID-19).


Ignaz Semmelweis, a Hungarian doctor known as the father of hand hygiene, discovered the power of hand-washing in 1847 and now, the medical field recognizes washing hands with soap and water are the best way to prevent, control and reduce infection.

Hand Hygiene 2020: WHO Calls for Action

The theme for the year 2020 is "SAVE LIVES: Clean your hands" and WHO has aligned with the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife. On this day, WHO aims to recognize nurses and midwives as front-line heroes because they deserve to be acknowledged and appreciated, especially of the critical roles they play in infection prevention, like COVID-19.

The world needs about 9 million more nurses and midwives to achieve universal health coverage by 2030. Here's the action call:
  • Nurses: "Clean and safe care starts with you"
  • Midwives: "Your hands make all the difference for mothers and babies"
  • Policy Makers: "Increase nurse staffing levels to prevent infections and improve quality of care. Create the means to empower nurses and midwives"
  • IPC Leaders: "Empower nurses and midwives in providing clean care"
  • Patients and Families: "Safer care for you, with you"
Nurses and midwives play a crucial role in providing health services. They devote their lives in caring for mothers and children,providing immunizations, giving health advice, looking after the elderly, also meeting everyday essential health needs. During the 2020 campaign, WHO and partners aim to:

  • Make hand hygiene a global priority
  • Inspire hand hygiene and behavior change
  • Engage with healthcare workers in their role in clean care and the prevention of infections.

Hand Hygiene during COVID-19 Pandemic

Coronavirus (COVID-19) has spread like wildfire to more than 200 countries. Good hygiene practices like washing hands, keeping the house clean can help you wipe out the deadly virus.

Keep the following critical times in mind and wash your hands immediately to prevent the spread of germs:
  • Before, during, and after preparing food
  • Before and after eating food
  • Before and after caring for a sick person
  • Before and after treating a cut or wound
  • After blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
  • After using the toilet
  • After handling pets
  • After touching garbage

Simple Steps to Wash Your Hands

  • Step 1: Wet hands and apply soap well, then rub hands together
  • Step 2Rub the back of both hands
  • Step 3: Interlace fingers and rub hands together
  • Step 4: Interlock fingers and rub the back of fingers of both hands
  • Step 5: Rub thumb in a rotating manner followed by the area between the index fingers and thumb for both hands
  • Step 6: Rub fingertips on the palm of both hands. Dry hands thoroughly with a clean towel.
Here are a few hand cleansing agents that you could use:

  • Detergents like soaps can remove transient contaminants
  • Antimicrobial agents, ex. Chlorhexidine
  • Antiseptic surgical scrubs, ex. Betadine
Frequently washing hands with soap and water can protect against COVID-19. Parents should help children inculcate such habits early so that they can grow into healthy adults.


Clean care can save lives. Washing your hands with either soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer is one of the best ways to stay safe during this pandemic. By doing this, we not only protect ourselves, but we also play a crucial role in stopping the spread of infections to others.

Along with doctors, nurses, and healthcare workers, let us come together on this World Hand Hygiene Day and pledge clean hands to flatten the coronavirus curve.

To stop the spread of the virus - #StayHome #StayClean #StayHealthy

References :
  1. SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands 5 May 2020 - (https://www.who.int/infection-prevention/campaigns/clean-hands/5may2020/en/)
  2. STOP! Clean Your Hands Day - (https://www.patientsafetyinstitute.ca/en/Events/StopCleanYourHandsDay/Pages/default.aspx)
  3. What Is Hand Hygiene? - (https://www.hha.org.au/hand-hygiene/what-is-hand-hygiene)
  4. Hand hygiene - (https://healthywa.wa.gov.au/Articles/F_I/Facts-about-hand-hygiene)

Source: Medindia

Citations   close

Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    Hannah Joy. (2020, May 04). World Hand Hygiene Day. Medindia. Retrieved on Sep 27, 2022 from https://www.medindia.net/news/healthwatch/world-hand-hygiene-day-194757-1.htm.

  • MLA

    Hannah Joy. "World Hand Hygiene Day". Medindia. Sep 27, 2022. <https://www.medindia.net/news/healthwatch/world-hand-hygiene-day-194757-1.htm>.

  • Chicago

    Hannah Joy. "World Hand Hygiene Day". Medindia. https://www.medindia.net/news/healthwatch/world-hand-hygiene-day-194757-1.htm. (accessed Sep 27, 2022).

  • Harvard

    Hannah Joy. 2021. World Hand Hygiene Day. Medindia, viewed Sep 27, 2022, https://www.medindia.net/news/healthwatch/world-hand-hygiene-day-194757-1.htm.


News A-Z
What's New on Medindia
Anemia among Indian Women and Children Remains a Cause of Concern- National Family Health Survey-5
H1N1 Influenza Prevention in Children: What Parents Need to Know
Dietary Factors Responsible for Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) Production and Hair Loss
View all
News Archive
News Category

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Test Your Knowledge on Hand Hygiene 

Most Popular on Medindia

Diaphragmatic Hernia Selfie Addiction Calculator Iron Intake Calculator Sinopril (2mg) (Lacidipine) Post-Nasal Drip Find a Hospital Blood - Sugar Chart Nutam (400mg) (Piracetam) Indian Medical Journals Accident and Trauma Care
This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use

World Hand Hygiene Day Personalised Printable Document (PDF)

Please complete this form and we'll send you a personalised information that is requested

You may use this for your own reference or forward it to your friends.

Please use the information prudently. If you are not a medical doctor please remember to consult your healthcare provider as this information is not a substitute for professional advice.

Name *

Email Address *

Country *

Areas of Interests